Houston mayor pledges $10K in search for a 62-year-old great-grandmother's killers

Friday, June 25, 2021
Mayor pledges $10K to catch a great-grandmother's killers
The 62-year-old was gunned down shortly after she arrived for an early morning exercise class in southeast Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a 62-year-old grandmother murdered outside a southeast Houston gym is asking for the public's help to find her killers.

Elsa Mikeska's family was joined by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and HPD Chief Troy Finner at a press conference, where the mayor announced that an additional $10,000 will go toward the reward to find Mikeska's killers.

"I have raised an additional $10,000 to add to the existing $5,000 reward offered by Crime Stoppers," Turner said. "Someone out there knows something about what happened."

WATCH: Family's emotional plea to killers who shot woman outside Houston gym

A heartbroken family is left wondering who would do this after their loved one was gunned down outside of a Houston gym. Their message to the suspects and the rest of Houston.

Last Thursday, Mikeska was arriving for a 5 a.m. exercise class when she was ambushed in the parking lot in an attempted robbery.

A makeshift memorial has been created right next to the spot where she died outside Life Fit Personal Fitness Studio, located in the 10500 block of Fuqua Street near Beamer Road.

A group of close friends stopped at the memorial to pray.

"Deep love and respect and appreciation for our friendships and how much she added to our lives. Like I said, she never had a bad word for anybody and she was always, always the one to help fix things and always the one to help keep everything together," said Kathy Comerford, Mikeska's close friend.

Comerford considers Mikeska a sister.

"Praying (for) giving her family strength, asking God for help, asking God to find these people," said Comerford.

Late Thursday, Houston police released surveillance video of the suspects' vehicle.

Surveillance video released by HPD shows the white Chevy SUV the suspects drove.

The suspects' white Chevrolet SUV parked near the victim just before 5 a.m. Thursday, and two people got out. Officers say the suspects confronted the woman and she took off running toward the gym before they opened fire, killing her.

The suspects took off, and are still on the run Friday morning. They're described only as Hispanic males in their early 20s.

During Monday's press conference, Finner said the department is not standing by and is urging the public to help find Mikeska's killers.

"I need all Houstonians to step up and bring forth some information," Finner said. "She shouldn't have lost her life. We're not going to stand by and let them win."

Mikeska's family, heartbroken and wondering who would do this, also urged people to come forward.

"Imagine it being your mom, or your wife, or your sister or your cousin. Doesn't matter, imagine it being someone you know and love," Mikeska's daughter, Harley Mikeska said. "Please come forward, because it's what you would want. She didn't deserve this."

ORIGINAL STORY: Woman shot and killed while trying to flee carjackers outside SE Houston gym, police say

Police believe the woman killed was an innocent victim in a string of attempted robberies after another woman was targeted nearby.

Mikeska was a member of the gym and fellow gym members described her as a regular.

"It's kind of scary, just the fact that it happened to a 50-to-60-year-old lady," gym member Frank Delgado said. "They have no compassion towards age. Crime has no compassion towards age."

"It's very troubling," HPD Commander Belinda Null said. "On a daily basis, it's troubling that our city, and cities across the nation, are experiencing the violence that we are."

The gym shooting wasn't the only incident police believe the suspects are connected to.

An hour before, officers say the suspects attempted to carjack a vehicle from a woman at 10100 Freehill Street, about two miles from the gym. The car was broken down, so they weren't able to steal it. The victim ran, and no shots were fired.

Officers said they aren't sure why the suspects opened fire when the victim ran toward the gym.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

If you have any information, or recognize the vehicle, you can call CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Suspects still on the run 1 day after grandmother shot and killed outside SE Houston gym

Houston police are looking at new surveillance video showing the moments before a woman was shot and killed in front of her gym. Now, investigators believe the suspects involved may be linked to another case. ABC13's Marla Carter explains in the video above.

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