The shooting happened at the Palace Inn on Antoine near 34th Street.
Houston police say a call came in just after 11 p.m. Sunday. They believe it was the gunman who called in, saying he had weapons and was planning to hurt people then fire at officers.
Before officers arrived at the motel, police say the man had already shot and killed two people - a man and a woman who they don't believe had any connection to the shooter.
Investigators believe the man and woman were killed two to three minutes after the original call came in.
Police say as soon as the officers arrived, before they even exited their patrol cars, they started getting shot at by the suspect, who was up on the second floor balcony.
Three officers returned fire on the suspect, Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard said. None of the officers were shot.
HPD commanders and PIO are en route to 3421 Antoine Drive (NW Houston).— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 19, 2021
Preliminary information is multiple people were shot and then a responding officer fatally shot the suspect.
Further details will come from the scene.#hounews pic.twitter.com/tCODDhsUQQ
Police say the suspect also randomly shot over the balcony, hitting two other people below. Both victims were treated for their injuries and are expected to survive.
At some point, officers saw the suspect go down in the open doorway of what appeared to be his room at the motel. That's when the officers made their way to the second floor in an attempt to render aid to potential surviving victims.
The suspect was shot and killed. HPD said investigators are still working to determine if he was shot by officers or if he died by suicide.
"Again, we don't know the motives of the suspect. We don't know if the suspect was in a mental health crisis, all that will be part of our investigation," Slinkard said. "But you know, officers can find themselves in a very dangerous and volatile situation. Sometimes in just a matter of seconds, and that's what happened."
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video at the motel.