Houston tenant kills 3 during eviction after luring neighbors in ambush. Gunman, a black man in his 40’s had been laid off and diagnosed with colon cancer & was behind rent.
A man being evicted from a Houston apartment building over the weekend shot five other tenants — killing three of them — after setting fire to the house to lure them out in an ambush, police said. Officers fatally shot the gunman.
The incident happened at about 1 a.m. Sunday in a mixed industrial-residential neighborhood in southwest Houston. Police and fire crews responded to the apartment house after reports of the fire, police Chief Troy Finner told reporters.
The un-identified gunman opened fire, possibly with a shotgun, on the other tenants as they emerged from the house, Finner said. Two white men in their 60’s were shot dead at the scene, with a black man in his 40’s dying at a hospital. Fire teams rescued two other wounded men, who were hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds, Chief Finner said.
Said Chief Finner: ‘This suspect, unfortunately, and very sadly, and very evilly, set fire to several residents… [He] laid in wait for those residents to come out and fired upon them.’
The evicted tenant then opened fire as firefighters battled the fire, forcing them to take cover until police officers spotted the gunman and shot him dead, Finner said.
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Had recently been fired and sick with cancer
One of the residents, Robin Ahrens, told the Houston Chronicle that he was getting ready to leave for work when he heard what he thought were fireworks.
‘I’m just fortunate that I didn’t go outside because he probably would have shot me, too,’ Ahrens told the Chronicle.
Following the loss of his job, the suspect who was sick with colon cancer and had fallen behind his rent was being evicted after failing to pay rent for the last three months. His landlord said that the gunman handed in his keys hours before the shooting. It remained unclear what reprieve was available to the man, if any leading up to his ouster.
While authorities declined to release the identity of the shooter and the victims, police said the gunman was described as a black male in his 40s, dressed in black and armed with a shotgun.
Finner said no firefighters or officers were wounded.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the gunman had not been formally evicted but had agreed to move out. He had been packing up his things for the last few weeks. He had lived there since 2013.
On Friday, three people in Arizona,, were killed when a tenant opened fire as they served an eviction notice.