Neighbors at an apartment complex were shocked to see a four-year-old girl run out of her building screaming with a bloodied neck.
"He cut her inside and she managed to get out, she came out and screamed," recalled neighbor Melvin Florence.
Investigators say the man who attacked the little girl was actually looking for her mother, whom they described as an ex-girlfriend.
Sgt. JJ Wilson with HPD Homicide said, "An ex-boyfriend showed up at this complex, looking for his ex-girlfriend, and she wasn't here. He forced his way into the apartment and he cut the throat of the little four-year-old girl and he fled the scene."
The suspect has been identified by police as Decorory Montriel Pruitt, 27. They say Pruitt was reported to be on drugs when he became angry with his current girlfriend and assaulted her at his home on West Airport. That's when he drove to the Cattails Lane apartment looking for his ex-girlfriend, but found the little girl instead.
The girl's aunt attempted to defend her and Pruitt drove off in his car, setting off a brief chase before he ended up in an apartment complex where police initially believed he barricaded himself.
A gun shot was heard and SWAT officers were called to the scene. When officers finally went in, they found Pruitt dead.
"I know he had his drug habits," said family member Chrissy Simmons. "I don't for sure, I don't want to put the wrong information out there, but, I know he just wasn't in his right mind these past few days."
Neighbors say Pruitt moved into that apartment with a different woman just two days ago.
Investigators say the little girl, though injured, is expected to be alright, saved by her own quick thinking and helpful neighbors.
"The little girl had enough snap, she came running out of the apartment with her throat bleeding," said Sgt. Wilson. "Some people grabbed her and were able to put pressure on her throat."
Investigators say firefighters showed up just after neighbors came to her assistance, and that may have saved her life. She is now listed as stable at Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital.