A Houston man who was being evicted from his home reportedly set the building on fire to attract his fellow tenants before shooting and killing three of them.
The man, who was not immediately identified but described as down on his luck with medical and financial problems, was shot and killed by responding police officers during the early morning attack.
Police Chief Troy Finner told the Associated Press that authorities arrived at the apartment building around 1 a.m. Sunday in southwest Houston.
Gunman dressed in black, allegedly armed with a shotgun before opening fire on fleeing tenants
Finner added that the gunman, who was allegedly wearing black clothing and armed with a shotgun, opened fire as other tenants fled their homes, two dying at the scene and another at a hospital shortly after.
Two others were injured and were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the outlet reports.
JUST IN: A man evicted from a Houston apartment building shot five other tenants, killing three of them, Sunday morning after setting the house on fire to lure them out, police said. The officers shot and killed the gunman. #Houston pic.twitter.com/IcmWV1gBDa
— BNN press room (@BNNBreaking) August 28, 2022
Michael James told the local television station KPRC He was on his way home from work when he was shot in the back.
“I saw the house was on fire and I saw flames so I called 911,” James said. “I didn’t pass, so I turned my back and walked out the driveway. And suddenly, boom.”
The suspect then began shooting at firefighters as they tried to put out the fire, forcing them to take cover until police officers located and fatally shot the gunman face down, according to Finner.
No police or firefighters were injured during the deadly attack on Sunday morning.
“I’ve seen things I haven’t seen before in 32 years, and it’s happened over and over again,” Finner said. “We just ask that the community come together.”
— 10TV (@10TV) August 28, 2022
Robin Ahrens, a neighbor, told the Houston Chronicle that he thought he heard fireworks while getting ready for work, and at first paid no attention to it.
“I’m lucky I didn’t come out because he probably would have shot me too,” he told the newspaper.
Shooter Described As Unemployed Houston Man With Colon Cancer Who Recently Learned About His Eviction
Ahrens said the gunman had colon cancer and was unemployed and behind on rent when he was recently told he was being evicted from his home.
“Something must have hit him pretty hard the last few days and he didn’t care,” Ahrens said of the shooter.
GSN- A man dressed all in black set fire to a multi-family residence in Houston early Sunday morning and then opened fire on people running outside, according to police. pic.twitter.com/FkM5D8ZWog
— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) August 29, 2022
in a White House summit on building lasting eviction prevention reform earlier this month, President Joe Biden signaled the need for an all-out effort to build lasting reform as funding for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) for its acronym in English) begin to decrease.
Biden administration touts eviction diversion program efforts, cutting eviction rate in half from 2019 to 2022
Texas, the site of Sunday’s attack, is one of several states that recently adopted statewide eviction diversion programs. These efforts have cut the eviction rate in half, from nearly 30% in 2019 to 14% in 2022.
Yet more than 900,000 renter households continue to be evicted from their homes each year, according to new america.
Renters enjoyed a reprieve during the coronavirus pandemic, when the federal government issued an eviction moratorium, but as of July 2022, statewide eviction bans no longer exist.
In the past week, the shadow room reported that the Supreme Court made the decision to block the federal moratorium that stopped evictions across the country during the pandemic, giving landlords the right to resume the eviction process even though tenants were affected by the pandemic.