Three men were shot and killed multiple times Sunday morning in a shopping mall parking lot in Alief, according to Houston Police Department officials.
Police received a “person down” call at around 5:50 a.m., Chandra Hatcher, assistant police chief of Houston, said at a news conference. When officers arrived on the 10800 block of Beechnut Street, there were several cars in and around the parking lot, but when officers arrived they all escaped.
“This parking lot was full, but when officers arrived, people immediately started dispersing,” Hatcher said.
Officers later found the three men dead, all with multiple gunshot wounds, and there were several shell casings on the ground, Hatcher said.
There are several businesses in the mall, including a nightclub, but it is not known if the shooting is related to any customers who may have been there.
“All we know from the witnesses we spoke to is that they heard gunshots. They didn’t say anything about seeing anything that happened or anyone that was involved,” Hatcher said.
Officers began searching the area and looking for surveillance footage early Sunday.
“We don’t know what happened and we don’t know the story behind the complainants in this incident and the suspect,” Hatcher said. “We’ll just have to do more investigations to find out exactly what contributed to this crash.”
Hatcher said there have been several incidents of crime at the mall, but that law enforcement agencies aren’t sure why. He also said police don’t believe the public is in danger.
Over the past two years, there have been 16 aggravated assaults and 15 simple assaults reported in the 10800 block of Beechnut Street, according to data collected by the Houston Police Department. There are many other types of crimes reported in the area as well, including robberies and drug violations.
“If anyone has been out here and seen what happened, please call 713-308-3600, our homicide division, or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS,” Hatcher said. “Any information that can help us resolve and find out what happened today will be extremely helpful.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.