2-year-old found dead inside vehicle that was stolen from shooting victim in SW Houston, HPD says

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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An argument between two men ended when one shot the other in the chest. Police say they were not aware of a child being involved in the case until they found the stolen vehicle.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 2-year-old boy was found dead inside a vehicle that was stolen after a man was shot to death during an argument Tuesday afternoon.

Officers responded to a shooting call in the 5500 block of El Camino Del Rey in southwest Houston at about 1:45 p.m. Police said there was an apparent disturbance between two Black men, which led to an argument.

During the argument, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the 38-year-old victim multiple times in the chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The suspect took off in the victim's SUV, which was described as a black Chevy Traverse or Equinox with a paper license plate.

A woman was at a nearby gas station when she heard the shots being fired. She said she saw the victim fall to his death.

"He was tumbling and agonizing," she said.

"My advice to the suspect (who) discharged the firearm is to go ahead and turn yourself in," Commander Adrian Rodriguez with the South Gessner HPD Division.

Hours after the shooting at 6:36 p.m., police said they received a missing persons report from a woman who said her husband and her 2-year-old child were missing.

She gave a description that matched the SUV that police were searching for in connection to the fatal shooting, according to police.

"We realized very quickly that (the victim from the original scene) was her husband," HPD Executive Chief Larry Satterwhite said. "We never knew about the child until she called at 6:36 p.m."

About 30 minutes later, investigators found the stolen vehicle in the 5900 block of Elm Street with a 2-year-old locked inside, according to police.

Officers broke off the glass on the SUV and immediately attempted to render aid, but the child was pronounced dead by the time an ambulance arrived, Satterwhite said.

Investigators believe the child died from heat exhaustion as he may have been in the car since about 2 p.m. An autopsy will confirm the cause of death.

Police describe the suspect as a Black man with a slim build and hair on his chin. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts with a "very distinctive" black Raiders hat.

"A mother lost her husband, and she lost her 2-year-old child (Tuesday)," Satterwhite said. "We are asking for your help."

It's unclear if the suspect and the shooting victim knew each other.

If you know anything about this case, authorities urge you to contact the Houston Police Department's Homicide Division at (713) 308-3600.

WATCH: HPD briefs reporters at scene of deadly shooting in southwest Houston