News

2 killed, 19 hurt in Houston house party shooting

2 killed, 19 hurt in Houston house party shooting

DEADLY SHOOTING: Family and friends console each other outside 7318 Enchanted Creek in Cypress, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, after two people were killed and at least 22 others were injured Saturday night when gunfire rang out at a large house party in a Houston suburb, sending partygoers fleeing in panic, authorities said. Authorities say they're seeking two gunmen. Photo: Associated Press/Bob Levey

By Jim Forsyth

(Reuters) – Two people were killed and at least 19 injured late on Saturday night near Houston in a hail of bullets unleashed when one of the guests at a house party fired a gun in celebration and another began shooting wildly into the crowd, police said.

More than 100 people were gathered in and around a home in the middle-class suburb of Cypress, northwest of Houston, for an 18-year-old’s birthday party when the shooting erupted at about 11 p.m., according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“Out of no apparent provocation, someone discharged a firearm in apparent celebration of the music,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia told reporters in front of the two-story house on Sunday.

Following that single gunshot, another party-goer who was standing 10 to 15 feet away and had “unwisely decided he needed to bring a firearm to a birthday party, recklessly responded” and started shooting indiscriminately into the crowd, he said.

An estimated 10 shots were fired in all, and the result, Garcia said, was carnage and pandemonium.

Two people were killed – a man declared dead at the scene and a woman pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. At least 19 others were hurt, with injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to broken legs and twisted ankles in the chaos that ensued.

Some guests jumped from second-story windows and others wrenched the door of an attached garage off its rollers in a panicked rush to escape, though a number of victims struck by gunfire were outside the house, the sheriff said.

Police earlier had put the number of injured at 22, but Garcia said the number was revised downward after further investigation. Those attending the party ranged in age from 14 to 22, he said.

The sheriff said authorities were seeking two male suspects, aged 17 and 22.

Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene in local media accounts, with victims lying bloodied on the floor and others rushing to neighboring homes for help.

“It sounded like a balloon popping,” A. Henry, a 19-year-old party guest, was quoted as telling the Houston Chronicle. He said he was in the kitchen when the shooting began, and heard 10 or 12 shots fired over several minutes.

Although a number of known gang members were present at the party, there was no indication that the violence was gang-related, Garcia said.

ADVERTISED ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“What we have is a combination of immaturity, access to a firearm, and a person’s inability to control one’s self,” the sheriff said.

He also cited another factor as contributing to a “birthday party gone wild” – the fact that the celebration had been advertised on Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites and that many of the guests were strangers.

“When you promote a party on social media, what you are saying to the world is, ‘I don’t know who you are, but you’re invited,'” Garcia said.

He said even though a “bouncer” had been hired and a parent of the 18-year-old for whom the party was thrown was present, they were overwhelmed by the crush of people who attended.

None of the weapons used in the shooting were immediately recovered, though investigators said several shell casings have been found.

Garcia appealed to the public for help in finding the suspects, including tips to the sheriff’s department website.

“Social media helped cause this,” he said. “Social media can help solve it.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Craig T. Nelson bringing ‘Coach’ back to TV

Fresh
Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, left, and actor Craig T. Nelson share a moment with Quincy the dog on the set of the television show "Coach", Feb. 10, 1995, in Universal City, Calif. Johnson will appear as himself in an episode in which Quincy ends up swallowing Johnson's Super Bowl ring.

Craig T. Nelson has signed on to revive his hit TV sitcom "Coach" for a new sequel series on NBC.

in Entertainment

Kate Upton, Lea Michelle to play best pals in new comedy

Kate Upton arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Kate Upton and Lea Michele have teamed up for a new William H. Macy comedy called "The Layover."

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: March 27

beatles

A look back on Hollywood headlines of years past.

in Music

Taylor Swift named among world’s greatest leaders in new Fortune poll

Singer Taylor Swift attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.

Taylor Swift ranks two spots behind Pope Francis in a new Fortune.com poll of the World's Greatest Leaders.

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.