A toddler was found dead in a stolen car after its father was shot and killed in Houston on Tuesday, police said.
“We’re asking the public to do a lot right now,” Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night. “First of all, prayers for the family. A mother lost her husband and 2-year-old today. We are also seeking the public’s help to identify the suspect. He remains at large.”
The Houston Police Department received a 911 call at about 1:46 p.m. local time Tuesday about a shooting in the El Camino Rey Del Rey Street and Chimney Rock Road area. Upon arrival, police found a 38-year-old man who had been shot, according to Satterwhite.
Investigators believe the victim was meeting another man at the location when the altercation was likely. Another man pulled out a gun and fired at the victim multiple times before stealing his black SUV and fleeing the scene, Satwhite said.
That evening, around 6:36 p.m. local time, a woman called 911 to report her husband and 2-year-old son missing. According to Satterwhite, the information she provided was specific enough that police quickly realized that the shooting victim was her husband.
“We never knew about the child until she called,” he told reporters.
A stolen SUV carrying the young boy was found on Elm Street more than 10 miles from the shooting scene. According to Satterwhite, police smashed the windows of the locked vehicle to gain access to the child, then immediately tried to help and called an ambulance.
“Sadly, it was too late. The child had already passed in the car,” he said. “Right now, we don’t know how or how or what the cause of death was. It could be heatstroke, we just don’t know. It will be determined by an autopsy.”
Investigators believe the suspect parked the car there, locked it and turned it off, with the child in the back seat, according to Satterwhite.
“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done,” he told reporters. “The child is innocent.”
The unidentified suspect, who remains at large, is described as a black man wearing a white T-shirt, black shorts and a black Oakland Raiders cap.
Asked if he had information given to the suspect, Satterwhite said: “Turn yourself in. Turn yourself in now.”