SUV in shooting of woman outside Houston gym was seen hours before in drive-by, residents say

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Residents believe SUV in drive-by is connected to woman's murder
Residents believe SUV in drive-by is connected to woman's murder

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Three hours before 62-year-old Elsa Mikeska was shot and killed outside a gym last week, residents in a nearby neighborhood believe the killers may have been on their street.

"If they are the same people being looked for, they need to be caught," said resident Ruben Martinez.

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

A camera on Martinez's home captured a white Chevrolet Suburban slowly driving by and then taking aim. On the video, a single gunshot rings out.

"Yep, that's what it was. It was a shot," Martinez adds.

The next day, Veronica Lazos first saw the broken blinds and then found the bullet. It was lodged in her wall in her daughter's room on the second floor. It sailed right through the window and just above the bed where the 11-year-old would normally be sleeping. That night, she was at her aunt's.

"That's the most scary part. And thank God she wasn't here. She is OK," said Lazos.

Lazos did not hear the gunshot and was not aware that Mikeska's life was taken outside Life Fitness Gym on Fuqua - which is less than two miles from Lazos' home.

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

When Houston police released video of the suspected vehicle in Mikeska's murder, the resemblance was unsettling.

"I was in shock. I said, 'No, I don't believe that,'" Lazos told ABC13.

The suspected vehicle in the murder appears to be the same white Suburban. Houston police told ABC13 they are aware of the video and the incident, one that may have been the beginning of the killers' crime spree, concentrated in southeast Houston.

The drive-by happened just after 2 a.m. on June 17. Around 4 a.m., police believe the same people tried to steal a woman's car at gunpoint at Clearcroft and Freehill. About an hour later, surveillance video captures them following Mikeska into the Life Fitness parking lot and then killing her. Robbery is believed to be the motive. Police are searching for the killers. The crimes have upended lives.

"I hope they're caught because we're scared," Lazos said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. A $15,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to arrests.

For more updates on the murder of Elsa Mikeska, follow Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.