Retired HPD officer hit in drive-by shooting

HOUSTON Police are searching for the gunman who opened fired at an apartment complex on the South Loop near Telephone Road in southeast Houston. Velia "Belle" Ortega, 77, was shot, but police don't believe she was the intended target. Police tell us Ortega, now retired, was the first female Hispanic Houston Police Department officer.

Police say the shooting was reported as a 'drive-by' just before 1:30pm this afternoon. Witnesses say men waving an automatic weapon yelled, 'You'd better run!' They then opened fire into a building.

The wheelchair-bound Ortega was inside the building, apparently visiting friends or family. She was struck at least once, and was transported to Ben Taub Hospital in critical condition.

Authorities are looking for two possible Hispanic males who fled the scene in a gray 4-door Chevy Tahoe. It's believed the shooting was the result of some type of dispute between the suspects and a man who lived in the apartment building.

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