Man Sets Fire to Homes Then Ambushes Those Escaping With Shotgun

Multiple people are dead after a man opened fire on them while they fled from a building fire that he started, according to police.

The incident caught the attention of first responders when the Houston Fire Department was called about a fire in progress on Dunlap Street just after 1 a.m. local time on Sunday. Arriving on the scene, personnel found a multi-dwelling building ablaze, but were quickly forced to take cover after gunshots began to ring out, according to McClatchy News.

Across the street from the fire, a man dressed all in black opened fire at residents of the building with a shotgun as they fled from the fire. According to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, officers soon arrived at the scene and were able to shoot the man dead as he continued to open fire from a parking lot. Details about the shooter’s identity have not been disclosed at this time, with police only stating that he was a Black man in his 40s, according to ABC 13 News.

With the shooter subdued, fire personnel were finally able to address the blaze and bring it under control. Three individuals were shot during the incident, all male, two in their 60s, and another in his 40s. They were each taken to a hospital for treatment, but were later pronounced dead.

Police now believe that the shooter was a disgruntled former resident of the building who was looking for revenge after recently being evicted. It is believed that he started that fire and waited outside to pick off residents with his guns as they ran away.

“I’ve seen things that I haven’t seen before in 32 years, and it’s happening time and time again,” Finner said in a statement on the incident.

The officer who gunned down the shooter has been placed on administrative leave, but only as per department procedure. Finner offered praise for the officer’s actions in the aftermath.

“Our officer arrived and took action, and for that, I’m very proud of him,” Finner added. “He’s a seven-year veteran out of the South Gessner division. And again, as usual, per policy, he’ll be put on administrative leave.”

Newsweek reached out to the Houston Police Department for comment.

Speaking with ABC 13, the building’s landlord, who requested anonymity, said that one of the victims of the shooting was the building’s property manager, who had held the position for 33 years. The shooter had lived at the building for many years, but had not paid rent since 2013, leading to his eviction on Saturday.

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