The children, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, sustained “severe burns” and had to be life flighted for their injuries, according to Deputy Tom Turner with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office violent crimes unit.
(1) Another horrific scene. A road rage incident erupted near a Fiesta Store near Veterans Memorial @ W. Mt. Houston. Continued near a gas station near Ella @ W. Mt. Houston. One party fired shots at the other vehicle. pic.twitter.com/VUssgWVVPJ
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) July 5, 2019
He told reporters at the scene that two men had “exchanged words” and pulled into a gas station parking lot.
Both men got out of their vehicles and one of them took out a firearm, Turner said.
This is the scene in north Houston where investigators are calling it a road rage shooting involving fireworks. Two children and two adults were in a vehicle with fireworks inside when someone opened fire.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) July 5, 2019
The other man, who had just purchased fireworks nearby, Turner said, returned to his car and started to leave with his wife and two children.
That’s when the suspect fired into their car, Turner said. One of the rounds hit the fireworks inside, “causing the fireworks to explode” and “catching the vehicle on fire.”
The man started to drive away but stopped, according to Turner. Some “good Samaritans” stopped to help the family and took them to a nearby urgent care clinic.
Police: Road rage shooting set off fireworks in car, burning kids https://t.co/75Ek6yGNu6
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) July 5, 2019
The children were then life flighted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston with “severe burns,” the deputy said. The mother and father were also transported to a hospital.
The suspect, who fled the scene, was described by the victim as a mixed-race man in his 20s, Turner said. He was believed to be driving a light-colored, newer model Ford Expedition and he may have been with a woman and two other people.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Children critically burned when suspect fires into family’s pickup, ignites fireworks in Houston road-rage attack https://t.co/LMcpaHYLrk
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) July 5, 2019
In another fireworks-related incident this week, an Ohio man died while shooting off fireworks in front of his children early July 2.
Police officers were called to a house in Toledo around 12:30 a.m. and arrived to find a man dead.
He was later identified as 61-year-old Floyd Temple.
Officials told WTOL that Temple was lighting large fireworks in his front yard. He lit one that was facing towards him and it hit him in the chest.
“He tried to fire off a rocket that goes up into the sky and it backfired and took his chest off,” said Benjamin Avalos, a friend of Temple.
Rick Tuggle, a neighbor, said that he was one of the first to learn of what happened.
“It went off and his chest exploded, and [the kids] ran over to my house and told me about it. That’s when police showed up,” he said. “They were sitting over there. They’re probably traumatized right now, I got to go check on them to see where their head at right now because they’re probably traumatized. They were sitting right there on the stairs when it happened. One of my kids was sitting right there on those stairs.”
Officials said people should be careful when setting off fireworks.
People illegally setting off fireworks could be arrested, police added.
NTD News reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.