Innocent bystander shot in NW Harris Co.

December 27, 2008 4:33:55 PM PST
A woman was wounded, hit in the face with a stray bullet. She was just shopping at a store when she was hurt. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investigators say it happened after two drivers started fighting. They say two men pulled into the parking lot of a 99 Cent store off Veterans Memorial and Blackpool in northwest Harris County after a confrontation on the road.

It started as a typical quiet day at the 99 Cent store, but would take a violent and unexpected turn. It would leave one of the customers inside seriously injured.

Eddie Qureshi was working next door at a cash checking store when he heard a noise.

"I figured it was probably just something they dropped next door," he said. "I really wasn't sure what it was at the time. I just knew it was loud."

It was the sound of gunfire. What began as a possible case of road rage between a Houston Chronicle newspaper delivery man and another driver led to the parking lot of the store.

Investigators say he delivery man was followed inside the store by the other driver, who allegedly pulled a knife and threatened him. The delivery man, who according to authorities was armed with a nine-millimeter gun, drew his weapon and fired, claiming it was self-defense. The bullet hit an innocent bystander, a woman shopping in the store.

While the other driver fled the scene, the delivery man stuck around until authorities arrived, who took him in for questioning.

Would-be shoppers were stunned.

"It's scary," said shopper LeKendra Moore. "I didn't know that. I was wondering what everyone was doing out here."

The woman who was shot in the face is listed as stable at Ben Taub Hospital. No names are being released and for the time being, no charges have been filed.

Authorities are trying to track down the other driver in this incident to either refute or substantiate the delivery truck driver's claim that the shooting was in self-defense.

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