A man is on the run after fatally shooting two men with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle in the middle of rush hour traffic after a dramatic car chase.
The shocking attack began when the shooter’s sedan struck the victims’ vehicle from behind, causing it to spin out of control just before 6pm on Thursday evening on a congested motorway in Houston, Texas.
The shooter then got out of his car and opened fire on the car’s rear before running in front of it and blasting more rounds into the windshield, killing both men inside.
Another motorist who was not involved in the crash, arrived on the scene and used his own weapon to shoot at the gunman, according to police.
A witness said that the man ‘fired several rounds at the suspect’ before he jumped into his car with another person and fled in their vehicle.
Daniel Gotera, a journalist for local station KHOU, heard the gunshots and saw people fleeing, he said.
“Unreal scene just witnessed on I-10 in Houston,” he tweeted. “A guy gets out of his car with gun just shooting in the middle of freeway. Unbelievable.”
It is not known if the shooter was shot.
The shooter and another person in his car fled in their vehicle, sparking a large manhunt that is still underway.
“A Hispanic male, tan shirt, holding a really big gun, shooting at another car,” a police dispatcher said.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted Friday that there was a “high probability the murders are drug-related.”
Narcotics were found inside the victims’ car, according to police, but they stopped short of connecting that discovery to the shooting.
“We don’t know exactly what the nexus was behind this,” a police spokesperson said. “
“Road rage, an accident, narcotics — we just don’t know yet.”
At least one witness claimed to get a good look at the gunman’s weapon and told police it was a semi-automatic rife.
“It was a long rifle that he was firing,” Dobbins said. “It was a gun similar to an AR-15.”
The victims were 25 and 33 years old, although their identities have not been made public, police said.
The suspect was a man possibly in his early 20s.
Police appealed to motorists who were driving home on eastbound Interstate 10 early on Thursday evening for information on anything they may have seen related to the incident.
“Anybody who saw this accident, that we now know is a shooting, please let us know, call HPD, please let us know what you saw. The slightest thing can helps us,” the spokesman said.
A $5000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect.
The shocking shoot-out shut down the busy freeway for hours, with Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins saying at a subsequent press conference: ‘We don’t have a description of the [shooter’s] vehicle, we believe it was a sedan, but we can’t even tell you what model yet.’
“Unreal scene just witnessed on I-10 in Houston, eastbound lanes at Holland, just outside the east loop,” KHOU reporter Daniel Gotera tweeted at the time.
“A guy gets out of his car with gun just shooting in the middle of freeway. Unbelievable.”