Shootout in Bellaire neighborhood frustrates residents: 'My car was shot at in broad daylight'

Miya Shay Image
Friday, April 19, 2024
Bellaire neighbors' patience waning over house involved in shootout
Families with children were mortified to hear gunshots in their Bellaire neighborhood over the weekend, which they blame on a specific home.

BELLAIRE, Texas (KTRK) -- A brazen shootout in the City of Bellaire last Saturday has stoked anger that's been simmering in part of the community for almost a year.

According to the Bellaire Police Department, it all began with a confrontation between men in a blue car and men in a white car on Merrie Lane at about 7:30 p.m. last Saturday.

In a video obtained by ABC13, you can see one group of men drop a backpack, and others pick it up. The white car then takes off, with the blue car giving chase. Bellaire police say both cars opened fire along Newcastle. Investigators believe eight shots were fired in total.

Miraculously, nobody was hurt in the shootout, but one Bellaire resident drove right through the shooting, and a bullet hit her car.

"My car was shot at in broad daylight, with my child in the front seat, 12 inches from my head," the woman fumed at a Monday night Bellaire City Council meeting.

In fact, a large group of residents living around Merrie Lane and Newcastle showed up to give the mayor and council members an earful.

"We witnessed a shootout outside my house when my elderly mother was home alone," another woman said. "There were two bullets fired outside our house, which could have easily struck any of us."

Furious homeowners said they first complained about a house on the 4500 block of Merrie Lane a year ago when records show it was sold for $1.27 million. The new owners blacked out all the windows, and soon, neighbors say, activity drastically increased around the home.

"My children bike to their neighborhood public schools," a neighbor testified. "And I'm scared they will get hit by a speeding customer car, or worse, get shot by a stray bullet."

Bellaire police insist they are investigating. They confirm that the house on Merrie Lane is owned by the same people who run a marijuana dispensary, EMF, on Renwick in southwest Houston. That dispensary was raided last February by federal authorities. However, neither that raid nor this shootout, so far, have yielded any arrests.

"Unfortunately, these investigations just take time," Bellaire Police Chief Onesimo Lopez said. "If the allegations are there are selling drugs out of the house, why can't the police make an arrest? It's because we don't have evidence of actual activity occurring. Nothing is happening out in public view."

Neighbors say they believe there has been enough activity that police should be able to make arrests and file charges. After the shooting on Saturday, their patience is running out.

"It's the responsibility of the city or the law enforcement, whether it's Bellaire or multiple agencies," another resident said. "But this needs to be fixed."

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