2 killed, 3 injured during shootings at separate Houston-area birthday parties

Mar 31, 2024, 9:27 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Gunfire at two separate Houston-area birthday parties this weekend resulted in two people being fatally shot and three others being injured, officials said.

During the first shooting, gunfire broke out around 1 a.m. Saturday at a party celebrating a woman’s 21st birthday, said Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Ritchie.

Around 50 people had attended the party at a home in Jacinto City, located about 10 miles (16 km) east of Houston, when shots were fired after an argument, authorities said.

Two people — Candelario Gonzalez Jr., 22, and Christian Rangel, 30 — were shot and taken to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead, said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

“Unfortunately, two young men lost their lives at a birthday party for, again, what we’re looking at is probably over just some petty verbal altercation,” Ritchie said.

No arrests have been made.

Gonzalez said investigators are still trying to determine if the two victims were partygoers or if they were passersby who were shot by those at the party.

“We don’t know all the connections. That will be a part of our investigation that’s ongoing at this point,” Gonzalez said.

In the second shooting, people at an apartment complex in west Houston were having a birthday party Saturday night when a neighbor began complaining to them about the loud music.

The third time the neighbor came over to complain at around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, he had a gun, said Houston Police Lt. T. Riley.

“There was a struggle over the firearm. The suspect discharged the firearm several times into the air,” Riley said. “They were able to wrestle that firearm away from him and they closed the door.”

The neighbor returned to his home, got another gun and went back and started firing through a backdoor of the apartment, hitting three people, Riley said.

One man was hit in the torso, another man was shot in the leg and a woman was grazed by gunfire. All three were taken to local hospitals in stable condition, Riley said.

Police on Sunday searched for several suspects, including the neighbor, who all fled on foot.

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2 killed, 3 injured during shootings at separate Houston-area birthday parties