The suspect was later killed by a Houston police officer, Finner said. The victims, all men, are 40-60 years old.
Police and fire personnel received multiple calls around 1:07 a.m., Finner said. One call was about a “man down,” one call went in like a gunshot and another call went in like a fire call.
“This suspect, unfortunately, and very tragically, and very badly, set several residents on fire,” Finner said. The suspect then “ambushed the residents to come out and opened fire on them,” he said.
The incident happened at a nearby multi-unit rental facility at 8020 Dunlap St., Finner said. Fire crews arrived on the scene first to tackle the blaze, but had to retreat from the gunman after they arrived, he said.
“The suspect started shooting. I don’t know if he was shooting at them, but they had to take cover,” Finner said.
A short time later, a Houston police officer arrived and found the suspect in a parking lot across the street from the station, Finner said.
The suspect, an African-American man, was dressed in black and was in his 40s, Finner added.
The officer, a 7-year veteran, was involved in a shootout with the suspect, who is now dead, Finner said. The officer is now on administrative leave, per department protocol.
“I’m very proud,” Finner said. “Who knows, the suspect might have tried to shoot someone else.”
The alleged gunman was a longtime resident of the facility, the chief said, but had recently received an eviction notice.
“That might be the trigger for him, I don’t know,” Finner said.
The district attorney’s office is investigating the incident, and the Houston police department is conducting its own investigation, Finner said.