Leaders hold meeting over shooting at rave party

March 19, 2012 8:27:41 PM PDT
One large, abandoned house in southeast Houston has been the site of several large-scale parties over the last few months. A party last week drew as many as 1,000 teens and young adults and ended in deadly gunfire. Now, nearby residents are saying enough is enough.

About 75 residents gathered Monday night to grill the Houston Police Department about what happened. We also learned that while there is a homicide investigation underway and a killer still on the loose, there are a lot more questions being asked internally to prevent a repeat.

Delayed only by a prayer and an introduction by City Councilwoman Wanda Adams, residents were given a chance to do what they came here for. Some made their observations about that deadly night and now they're asking questions.

"I still want to know who hired your officers so we can make sure it never happens again," one resident said.

Last week, as a crowd of mostly teenagers was dispersing from a so-called spring break foam party at a massive house in southeast Houston, 18-year-old Ryan Spikes was shot and killed. Neighbors say they warned Houston police repeatedly about the potential for violence among the crowd of hundreds.

Two HPD officers were on the site working extra jobs; still it quickly got out of hand. And now HPD is in the hot seat.

"I think the police dropped the ball that night," another resident said.

As this community meeting went longer, the room got fuller and tempers a little higher.

"I have a little kid, she lies awake at night because of all the bullets flying all over there," another resident said.

Officers at every level addressed the crowd.

"We can't go back in time and fix what happened but we can move forward and work together and get this thing shut down," HPD Lt. Randy Upton said.

But they didn't quite give residents what they wanted.

"It was a waste of time," a resident said.

But afterwards, police indicated that everything the residents were asking is part of a bigger investigation.

"All I can tell you is that there's been questions asked about the officers who worked the extra job, so I'm only talking specifically about this case. I'm not talking in general about all extra jobs moving forward, I'm just telling you that there's some interesting questions people were asking about the extra job officers and their role," HPD Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin said.

There is not an internal affairs investigation yet. Lumpkin did say the promoter of that party will never again be able to hire HPD officers to work extra jobs.

HPD is looking at ways to prevent that home from being used as a party venue in the future.