West Houston residents living in fear

March 9, 2008 8:53:06 PM PDT
Residents in one west Houston neighborhood are trying to figure out what to do now after bullets came flying at their homes. Several people tell us they're scared to leave their houses. They say they're under fire, literally.

It's happening near Wilcrest and Briar Forest. People living there are determined to recapture their quiet neighborhood.

There are $300,000 homes, kids on bikes, people walking dogs and gathering to say hello. But make no mistake, the people of Lakeside Forest feel as though they're under siege.

"We've been hammered out here. We really have," said Don Curson with the homeowners association.

For 6 to 8 months, sporadic gunfire has jolted people from sleep, forced them into panicked 911 calls, and made them afraid to walk in their own backyards. Residents say there have been two separate shooting incidents this week alone.

Richard Kottke says someone shot his air conditioning unit on Friday.

"Maybe two feet from the bedroom wall, where it hit the air conditioning unit, went through two fences," he said.

Folks say all of the trouble seems to be coming from the apartment complex behind their homes. Kottke has a 20 foot fence along his property line, but showed us pictures of what it looks like on the other side.

Tony Diaz says he's seen apartment renters running through his yard, sometimes armed.

"Came around the street, comes stand in my front yard, waving a butcher's knife saying she's looking for her daughter, wants her daughter," he said of one incident.

Residents say Precinct 5 constables have been a big help. HPD, they say, has not. The gunfire seems to be increasing, and it may not be long, they say, before someone is hurt or killed.

Residents are hoping to meet with HPD this Wednesday to discuss the problem and maybe offer solutions. But they don't exactly have high hopes. At the very least, they want the city to make sure these apartment owners clean up their act.

We tried to contact the apartment complex owners and management for comment, but our calls were not returned. Lakeside Forest does have a contract with Precinct 5 constables for extra patrols.

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