HPD looking for suspect seen on surveillance video at deadly shooting of man in SW Houston

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Father murdered in front of store during fight in SW Houston
A Houston father was shot and killed when an argument broke out near a business. Now, police are searching for his alleged killer.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Police released photos of a suspect wanted in a fight that escalated to a deadly shooting in southwest Houston.

ABC13 obtained surveillance video from a nearby business that shows the moments before and after the shots were fired.

Houston police were called to a strip mall parking lot at 9648 Beechnut St. near Corporate Drive just before 7:30 p.m. Monday in response to a shooting.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man dead with a gunshot wound.

NOTE: HPD initially said a woman was also shot and was taken to the hospital in critical condition by a private vehicle. However, in a later update, HPD said investigators spoke to the woman at the hospital and she told them she was not with the man who was shot and killed. Police were unable to confirm if she was shot at the same scene.

The family identified the victim as Fatorma Gabba Jr. His father, Fatorma Gabba Sr., told ABC13 he was the father of a teenager and had another baby on the way.

"It's really hard," his friend, Maenisha Thomas, told ABC13.

Thomas said Gabba often hung out at the strip mall with friends.

"He was our protector. Anybody did something. Anybody looked at us a certain way. He was on it," she said.

Houston police said two men got into an argument at the strip mall Monday evening. The suspect, pictured below, pulled out a gun and is believed to have fatally shot Fatorma Gabba Jr.

"At some point, the altercation turned from verbal to physical with pushing and shoving. And, at that point, one male produced a pistol, shooting the victim that was found deceased at the scene," Lt. J.P. Horelica said. "There was a second male that also exited the black vehicle and fired multiple rounds and then got back into the black vehicle and fled the scene."

"I wasn't here. I had just left him, and I feel horrible for leaving him," Thomas said.

Fatorma Gabba Jr.'s father said the family is trying to keep a low profile.

"The shooter is still at large," Fatorma Gabba Sr. explained.

The shooting happened in front of several businesses with security cameras. HPD said there were several people around who saw what happened.

Video obtained by ABC13 shows a group of people at the corner of a strip center. There appears to be pushing and shoving during some kind of argument. After gunfire erupted, a man can be seen running away from the corner. Then, he collapses in front of a store.

The video shows someone trying to give him first aid, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police described the suspect as a Black man wearing a dark-colored hoodie and gray sweatpants. They released two photos of him from surveillance cameras.

Investigators said the suspect fled the scene in a silver SUV of unknown make and model. Police did not provide a description of the possible second suspect.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

The Beechnut incident was the first of four shootings that happened in Houston within about three hours overnight. At least two people died and two others were injured.

The second shooting happened at 9:08 p.m. in the 7900 block of Ravenwood Circle. Houston police say the victim was stable when they were taken to the hospital.

About 12 minutes later, someone was shot following a fight in the 4200 block of Barberry Drive. Police said the person who was shot in the leg and shoulder is expected to survive.

At 10:36 p.m., a man was shot and killed after an altercation on De Priest Street near Williams Dell Street. He died at the hospital.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been 98 homicides in Houston year to date. At the same time last year, there were 121 homicides, a 19% decrease.

READ MORE: At least 2 killed within 4 hours in string of unrelated shootings across Houston area

The shootings happened all within four hours of each other, killing two and injuring two others. Police are still looking for the suspects.