A gunman injured nine people at a strip mall in Houston early on Monday before being “neutralized” by police, a local ABC affiliate reports. The Houston Fire Department later confirmed that the suspect was killed in a shootout with police. Six people were taken to nearby hospitals.
“We received a call at 6:29 that we had a shooting at the Petco store,” Houston Fire Department spokesman Jay Evans said. “The first units were directed to the parking lot where the shooting was still active.”
Police “engaged” with the suspect, who, according to KHOU, may have been hiding behind a tree before officers shot him. “I literally heard the gunshots past my face,” a witness caught in the crossfire told ABC13. “It’s a hard pill to swallow.”
Some of the victims were shot while inside their cars in the mall parking lot, injured by shattered glass as well as flying bullets. “We have several with extremity injuries,” a fire official told reporters. “We have a couple that are more serious.”
Update – 12:30 pm
The suspect was a lawyer who lived in the neighborhood and had been having problems at work, Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo said at a press conference. From NBC News:
Some witnesses have described the gunman firing dozens of shots at cars passing through the neighborhood before he was engaged by police.
When the officers found the suspect, he began firing at them. The man was shot by officers and died at the scene.
Numerous weapons were found at the scene, Montalvo said, and a bomb-squad robot is looking at a Porsche that’s believed to be the shooter’s.
Three people were treated and released at the scene of the shooting in addition to six who were hospitalized.