HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Exclusive video shows an illegal street takeover moments before a suspect led them on a deadly chase.
In the video, drivers are performing stunts in their trucks and cars, with one man even hanging out of a window while spectators cheer them on.
On Friday, Damian West attended a street takeover on Kempwood Drive around 6 p.m. before a police pursuit ended in a deadly multivehicle crash, according to police.
"He was leaving once the police had broken up the group and as he was leaving, he was driving extremely erratically, running red lights, speeding, and weaving in and out of traffic," Lynn Nguyen with the Harris County District Attorney's Office said. "He evaded police and eventually struck a vehicle, an innocent third party, and killed the driver of that vehicle."
The Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff's Office have two teams dedicated to taking down street takeovers.
According to Nguyen, an undercover officer with the Houston Police Department was already at the event.
"They are very proactive in their investigation. They will go on social media, under cover and infiltrate these groups and figure out what events are taking place. They are recording, making sure there are crimes happening, and then they will send in officers to break up the group. That's what ended up happening," said Nguyen.
Officials have been tracking these events that start in parking lots, and then usually spill onto the streets. Because they are dangerous and put lives in jeopardy, investigators often find more illegal activity happening.
"A street take over group is basically a group of people who come together and plan and host an event in a parking lot or out in the streets of Harris County," Nguyen said. "They will perform deadly stunts in a pit they create using vehicles. A lot of crimes occur besides the deadly conduct, there's drugs, all kind of different offenses that arise."
The suspect who led police on the chase has been charged with murder and aggravated assault. According to Nguyen, there will be more arrests coming because officials are trying to find who else was involved in the street takeover.
"We have been identifying who are the people putting together these events, who are really the ones promoting these events," Nguyen said. "We are filing engaging in organized crime on these people. That has become effective because once we take down the people who are hosting and planning these events, the group essentially breaks up after that."
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