Houston gunman kills three after setting houses on fire, police say

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Four people died early Sunday in Houston when a man set fire to an apartment building and shot fleeing residents, authorities said.

Just after 1 a.m., the city’s police and fire departments received calls about a fire and shots fired at a home that was being used as a rental facility, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said. News conference. Firefighters arrived first but had to take cover when the gunman opened fire, although it’s unclear if he fired at them.

Police officers then arrived on the scene and found the shooter in a parking lot across from the home. An officer shot and killed a man dressed in black and armed with a gun, Finner said. Two residents were pronounced dead at the scene, while a third died at the hospital.

“I’ve seen things I’ve never seen in 32 years,” the police chief said. “It’s happened over and over again, and people are asking the police chief and police chiefs, ‘Why?’ And now we don’t know, we’re just asking for the community to come together.

Officials did not release the names of those killed. They said the gunman was in his 40s and the victims were men in their 40s to 60s. Apart from those killed, one person was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand. Another person had minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.

The gunman was recently told he would be discharged, Finner said. “That might have been a trigger for him, but I don’t know,” he said. “This is part of the investigation.”

The officer who shot the suspect is a seven-year veteran and has been placed on administrative leave under Houston Police Department policy. The district attorney’s office is investigating, and the police agency will conduct its own investigation.

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