'I just lost my baby': Pregnant woman killed, 4 shot at birthday party in Houston park, mom says

Courtney Carpenter Image
Saturday, July 22, 2023
Pregnant woman killed, 4 others shot at birthday party, family says
A five-month pregnant woman was shot and killed at a birthday party in Margaret Jenkins Park in Houston's Sunnyside, her family says.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A pregnant woman was killed, and several others were shot at a birthday party near Houston's Sunnyside, according to the woman's family.

The Houston Police Department says the deadly shooting happened in Margaret Jenkins Park at about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday.

Investigators believe a fight led to more than 30 shots being fired, but it's unclear what the argument was about.

"Total of 36 shots came in from (HPD's ShotSpotter) technology," Assistant Chief E. Garcia said.

RELATED: 'ShotSpotter' not curbing violence and only delaying HPD response times, Houston Chronicle reports

Authorities say three people were taken to the hospital, including two of the suspects. A fifth person was grazed by a bullet and did not go to the hospital.

Investigators are working to find any other possible suspects.

The victim's family spoke only with ABC13 after witnessing the deadly shooting.

The family identified the victim as 21-year-old Autumn Vallian. They told Eyewitness News she was five months pregnant.

The 21-year-old's mother, Ebony Vallian, says she knew most of the people who were at the park at the time of the shooting and says most were people who she would consider friends.

She says she and her daughter were there celebrating a birthday at the park when things took a turn for the worse.

"As we were getting ready to leave, they started a little commotion," Ebony Vallian said. "One (man) pulled a gun. When he pulled his gun, the other guy's girlfriend came out of her truck and came with a gun. They were talking back and forth about who would do what and however, and they started shooting at each other."

Ebony Vallian told ABC13 that she and her daughter were trying to leave before the argument escalated. When Ebony Vallian turned around, she said her daughter was shot.

"I looked back, and my baby was down on the ground. Gone," the victim's mother said of her firstborn. "I just lost my baby. (She was) in school, trying to get a job. Trying to become something, and she's gone now."

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

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