(SUNNYVALE, Texas) — Three children remain in critical but stable condition after a “horrific” shooting in suburban Texas that killed one adult and injured four others early Sunday night.
Sunnyvale interim police chief Bill Vegas told reporters the five victims were pulling into an apartment complex when a suspect emerged from a sedan, which police believe was following the family’s car, and shot the five victims while inside the vehicle. Police are still searching for the two suspects in a late-model black sedan, one of whom was the shooter in the attack.
“There was a lot of evil last night,” said Vegas, who described the crime scene on multiple occasions as “horrific.”
At least six bullet holes were found on the left side of the family’s vehicle, which was ambushed around 6 p.m. Sunday, according to Vegas.
Mesquite, Texas, resident Tyesha Merritt, 27, attempted to seek shelter from the shooting in the apartment complex, but died at the scene of the shooting, according to Vegas. Merritt was confirmed as the sister of the adult male victim, police said.
“To walk up on a scene where there have been five people shot, three children, is pretty horrific,” Vegas said.
Three children, between the ages of eight and 10, were injured and are being treated at a local hospital. A male victim, identified as the children’s father, was also injured but has been released from a local hospital, according to police. He is now cooperating with law enforcement, which is struggling to identify the shooting suspects, Vegas said.
“We don’t have a whole lot,” Vegas said about the current state of the investigation.
The mask worn by the shooter has made an identification challenging, according to Vegas. Police now believe the suspects have left the Sunnyvale area, though they likely remain armed and dangerous.
“We do know they are armed,” Vegas said at Sunday’s press conference. “We do know they are capable of shooting, so there is a definite threat.”
Police later clarified in a Facebook post they are “confident that there is no threat to the public,” though the reality of dangerous suspects on the loose persists. Sunnyvale police are now working with law enforcement in Mesquite, where the two suspects are believed to have driven.
Vegas stated he believes there were likely multiple eyewitnesses to the shooting, and law enforcement is calling for the public to come forward with information.
The shooting comes as a shock for the relatively quiet community of Sunnyvale, an affluent suburb in eastern Dallas County, that boasts a population of roughly 8,000 residents with an average household income of $137,656, according to Census data.
“We have our crime, but we don’t normally experience this kind of stuff,” Vegas said.
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