3 dead, at least 2 wounded in ‘chaotic’ shooting at Houston-area house party

A “chaotic” shooting at a Houston-area house party early Sunday left three people dead and others wounded, officials said.

At least one shooter opened fire around 2 a.m. local time at a Katy, Texas, residence authorities believe had been contracted as a short-term rental, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“We believe this was a small gathering that turned deadly,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said at a news briefing. “It appears there were a number of people inside the residence – possibly, just guessing, between 10 and 20 people.”

A man and a woman died at the scene, while another man died at a nearby hospital, Gonzalez said. At least two people were hospitalized and their conditions are unknown. It’s possible others were wounded as well, according to the sheriff.

None of the victims have been identified, though authorities say the guests were believed to be in their 20s. Investigators are now working to identify any suspects and to determine how many people opened fire.

A motive has not been determined but officials believe “many” rounds were fired, with early evidence suggesting shots were discharged inside and outside of the residence, Gonzalez said.

“We don’t know if there was some type of disturbance that broke out amongst the invited guests or the people that were already inside, or if it’s somebody that showed up unannounced, some type of targeted attack,” Gonzalez said. “That will be part of our investigation.”

While authorities initially said the house has possibly been rented out through Airbnb, the company released a statement saying that was not the case.

A deputy arrived at the scene on the 4600 block of Russet Leaf Trace within minutes of being notified and observed at least one person already dead, according to the sheriff.

“It was a very active scene,” Gonzalez said. “It was very chaotic upon the deputy’s arrival.”

Katy is about 30 miles west of Houston.