Michael Anthony Cuellar and Sierra V. Tarbutton face several felony counts.
Michael Anthony Cuellar and Sierra V. Tarbutton face several felony counts.
Photos courtesy of the Houston Police Department

Houston Police Use Reddit, Facebook to Catch Pair They Say Posted Shooting on Snapchat

You'd think that if you were going to commit a crime, the goal would be to get away with it, mostly by being discreet. But for some people, the itch to show off their don't-give-a-hoot-about-my-bad-reputation life mantra in a campaign for cool points from social-media peers is apparently too irresistible.

Like for the two people who made a Snapchat video of themselves shooting a gun out the window, aiming at nothing and everything all at once — while driving a car!

"Those people are fools," said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo at a press conference about those two people Tuesday. "People think they're funny. They think they're cute. They don't realize that the only fame they're going to get is when they get convicted of two felony counts and end up in state prison."

Michael Anthony Cuellar and Sierra Tarbutton have each been charged with felony deadly conduct and felony criminal mischief, accused of being the two shooters appearing in multiple Snapchat videos that, unfortunately for the alleged shooters, got uploaded to Reddit, made their way to the cable news stations and landed in front of Acevedo himself, who immediately told his chiefs they should start an investigation.

Turns out Reddit tips, Facebook pics and other forms of social media ultimately helped detectives track down the two suspects. One officer also identified an apartment building he recognized in a photo on social media and ultimately determined through some traditional door knocking that Tarbutton lived there. The detectives found shell casings at a business along the 1400 block of South Highway 6, where the owner said bullets destroyed a brand-new sign he had just bought for $30,000. Residents who live along Memorial Drive also complained to police about random shootings near their homes the night of September 26, and wished to pursue charges.

Tarbutton was arrested on Monday, and Cuellar turned himself into the Harris County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday. Prosecutors requested a higher bond for Cuellar due to the nature of the crime, and, though he has no criminal convictions, it was set at $200,000. Tarbutton is being held on no bond because police say she once threatened the lives of an officer's two daughters during a DWI stop in 2015, saying "that is two cute little girls; those are going to be two cute little tombstones."

"We want to let people in this community know that we take dangerous conduct, reckless conduct seriously, and when you’re foolish enough to put it on social media," Acevedo said, "I assure you that the Houston Police Department and all of our public safety partners are on social media looking for these fools."

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