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Three killed and 2 injured after gunman sets fire to building in Houston, police chief says

<i>Houston Police</i><br/>Police Chief Troy Finner speaks during a news conference early on Sunday
Houston Police
Houston Police
Police Chief Troy Finner speaks during a news conference early on Sunday

By Michelle Watson, CNN

Three people were killed and two people were injured early Sunday morning after a man dressed in all black set fire to a building and then shot at people fleeing, Houston Police chief Troy Finner said in a news conference.

The suspect was later killed by a Houston police officer, Finner said. The victims, all men, range in age from 40-60.

Police and fire personnel received multiple calls around 1:07 a.m., Finner said. One call was about “a person down,” one call came in as a shooting and another call came in as a fire call.

“This suspect, unfortunately, and very sadly, and very evilly, set fire to several residents,” Finner said. The suspect then “laid in wait for those residents to come out and fired upon them,” he said.

The incident occurred at a multiroom rental facility near 8020 Dunlap St., Finner said. The fire department arrived at the scene first to fight the fire, but had to retreat from the gunman upon arrival, he said.

“The suspect began to fire. I don’t know if he was firing in their direction, but they had to take cover,” Finner said.

Shortly afterward, a Houston police officer arrived and found the suspect in a parking lot just across the street from the facility, Finner said.

The suspect, an African American male, was dressed in all black and was about 40 years old, Finner added.

An officer, a 7-year veteran, engaged in gunfire with the suspect, who is now dead, Finner said. The officer is now on administrative leave, per department protocol.

“I’m very proud of him,” Finner said. “Who knows, that suspect probably would have tried to shoot somebody else.”

The alleged gunman was a longtime resident at the facility, the chief said, but had recently received an eviction notice.

“That may have been a trigger point for him, I don’t know,” Finner said.

The district attorney’s office is investigating the incident, and the Houston police department is conducting its own investigation, Finner said.

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