Over 50 shots were fired at a club in the early hours of Sunday morning in Houston, killing one person and injuring four others, according to law enforcement.
Harris County deputies arrived on the scene at around 2 a.m. in response to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of Touch Lounge. The club is located near Greenwood Forest Drive and FM 1960.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told KHOU that there were multiple shooters, one of which he believes was carrying an AK-47.
The suspects reportedly exited a car and started shooting into a crowd of people standing near a food truck parked outside of the club.
While the suspects seemed to fire multiple rounds widely and indiscriminately, Sheriff Gonzalez hinted at a possible motive.
“If the information is correct that someone exited from a vehicle and began opening fire, that’s probably a good indicator that they were coming with purpose — maybe targeting somebody. Maybe there was some sort of beef in the club, we just don’t know for sure yet,” he said.
There has been no word on whether the five victims shot were in fact targeted.
The two men and three women were transported to the hospital for gunshot wounds once first responders arrived on the scene. All victims are believed to be in their 20s.
One male victim has died from his injuries. With the exception of one other victim, no updates have been given at this time on the status or identities of the three others.
One family has stepped forward and identified one of the surviving victims as 20-year-old Amariah Pridgen.
Pridgen is a student at Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge and a National Guard.
The victim’s family had been awakened by a phone call alerting them to the tragedy.
“Me and my wife just woke up panicking. We live in Louisiana, so it was a four-hour ride. We just jumped in the car and drove down here,” Clarence Pridgen, her father, said.
According to reports, Pridgen is not out of the woods yet and is currently recovering after being operated on for her injuries.
Her father served in the military and told ABC 13 just how devastating it was to see the damage left behind in the wake of the shooting.
“Just to see and know that’s my baby’s blood on the ground. It’s so much blood. You don’t know [which] is hers. Blood is all over the side of this truck. I’m ex-military, and this is just like a war zone,” Pridgen said.
Now the scene is covered in evidence markers as investigators scour for any clues leading to the suspects. Deputies are trying to locate nearby surveillance footage and witnesses to the incident.
Reports say that most had left the scene when the shooting began and before the arrival of law enforcement.
At least four cars in the parking lot were torn into by bullets. From one parked car, investigators confiscated a large firearm, according to reporting by ABC 13.
Authorities told the news station that the act was just standard procedure and that it would be returned to the owner if cleared.
The investigation into the “club beef” is ongoing and Crime Stoppers of Houston encourages anyone with information that might help them to solve this case to reach out.
Violent crime is surging this new year in many Texas cities, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Dallas alone has seen multiple homicides, kicked off by the killing of 36-year-old Dylan Reeves when he was allegedly shot by 18-year-old Miguel Sereno after an argument over celebratory gunfire, as The Dallas Express previously reported.
Four more murders were committed over the first week of January 2023 than in 2022.
The Dallas Express continues to report on Dallas’ crime wave as city leaders continue to fail to prioritize the safety of residents and adequately address this issue.