Wild scene unfolds after victim confronts car thieves in north Houston
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A chase and a shooting -- it all happened after a group of neighbors came together to go after some thieves. The whole situation unfolded shortly after crooks were seen breaking into cars in north Houston. It ended with gunfire at a gas station off Tidwell and the North Freeway.
Some are calling it a pretty bizarre series of events that led to the chase and shooting. People close to the neighbors say the burglary victims were just trying to help police arrest the thieves. One truck's dash is destroyed and the radio's ripped out. Across the street, a Tahoe was tampered with, too.
Eddie Aguinaga said, "They stuck a crowbar between the door to try and pry it open. You know, they knew what they were coming for."
It was on Duff Lane where neighbors say the chaos started after a group of suspected car thieves was spotted in the act early Wednesday morning.
"My niece had gotten up to get a drink of water, and my niece was the one who heard the noise out here," Aguinaga said. "So she ran and told my brother-in-law that something was going on out here."
Aguinaga says those thieves were caught vandalizing vehicles belonging to his family and a neighbor in the cul-de-sac. He says the suspicious group jumped in one of the neighbor's pickup trucks and sped off as his brother-in-law and others began running toward them.
"He grabbed his keys from his car, and just started chasing after them," Aguinaga said.
Police say those burglary victims chased the accused thieves through the neighborhood and down Tidwell. That pursuit ended in gunfire in an Exxon parking lot at the corner of the North Freeway.
"We all know each other around here, and we try to protect each other," Aguinaga said.
Police say the car thieves jumped back into a stolen truck and sped off. One of the accused men, believed to be shot during that confrontation, was clinging to the side of that getaway vehicle. He was dragged a short distance and suffered critical injuries when the truck hit a cement column under the overpass.
There was a woman with them as well, but she was left behind and taken into police custody. The search continues for the suspected thief who got away.
Homicide detectives spent several hours interviewing the neighbors involved in that chase. At last check the injured suspect was still in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital.
local, demond fernandez
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