Two people are dead and six injured after a gunman opened fire Sunday in the otherwise quiet neighborhood of Wilchester in west Houston Sunday.
Around 10:15 Sunday, a man walked up to the parking lot of the Memorial Hand Car Wash, hoisted a pistol, then fatally shot a 56-year-old man named Eugene Linscomb, who was sitting in his Mercedes, as the Houston Chronicle reported. The husband and wife who owned the shop were able to sprint away as the gunman allegedly told them that he would spare them because they were Christians. Soon after, the Chron reported, the man headed back to his car, grabbed an AR-15 assault rifle and began wreaking havoc on other innocent bystanders.
Four citizens were wounded before police and SWAT squads rolled up to the scene. The chaos lasted about one hour, with the gunman recklessly shooting at houses and cars, before a SWAT officer fatally shot him. One officer was shot in the chest, but was saved by his bulletproof vest, and another was shot in the thumb. One of the citizens who was shot and taken to the hospital in critical condition was armed and was originally believed to be a suspect; but early Tuesday, an HPD spokesman wouldn't comment on what role that man played in Sunday's shooting event, if any, or anything else about the shooting. However, KHOU, citing police sources, reports that the man, named John Wilson, was just trying to help and defend his neighborhood and family when the gunman shot him.
According to reports, the gunman is believed to be a decorated military veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, named Dionisio Garza, from San Bernardino County, California. On Monday, police found a combat-style backpack sitting at a gas station, containing ammunition and documents that identified Garza, such as his birth certificate. In an interview with KPRC, Garza's father said that his son had recently begun voicing anti-government sentiments, believing that the country was on the brink of economic collapse and that the world was ending, when he decided to move to Texas to visit a friend from the Army. They said it was when he returned from his second tour in Afghanistan that he started to change. "Just in the last two weeks, it progressively got worse," his father, also named Dionisio, told KPRC. "It was not the same boy that we raised. Not the loving uncle, the loving brother."
His mother, Michelle, apologized to the families. "Words are just words," she said. "I wish there was more that we could do."
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