10-Year-Old Girl Survives Home Shooting That Killed Three Family Members

Two adults and one child were shot to death in an apartment in Houston, on Wednesday night. A 10-year-old girl in the residence survived by playing dead and then calling her grandmother for help.

emergency services stock photo
A young girl played dead during a shooting that took the lives of her parents and a sibling before she called her grandmother for help. Above, a stock photo of emergency services responding to a scene. Matt Gush/Getty Images

Houston police responded to the shooting near West Houston Airport just after 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, where they discovered a 6-year-old girl, her mother and her father had been shot and killed. The couple had three other children in addition to the 6-year-old: an 8-year-old boy who was at another location with his uncle, the 10-year-old girl who alerted family of the crime, and a 1-year-old baby boy who was also in the apartment and was reportedly uninjured.

Local ABC affiliate station KTRK-TV spoke with family members on the scene. Reporter Courtney Fischer said the girl told family a man wearing a mask knocked on the door, and her mother told him he had the wrong apartment before he forced his way inside.

The girl was also reportedly shot in the arm near the elbow, and she lay on the ground and pretended to be dead while the shooter was still in the apartment. Fischer said family members told her the girl had been taken to a hospital. Police reported the girl was at a hospital and in stable condition.

BREAKING overnight: 4 ppl shot, 3 of them are dead at a SW Hou apt including:

-a child, age 5-7
-child's mother
-an adult man

Fourth person shot survived—a 10yo girl who called her grandmother to say it happened. Unreal. #abc13 pic.twitter.com/92AQaN82GS

— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) July 1, 2021

Initial reports incorrectly stated the 10-year-old girl was the lone survivor of the shooting. Later, it was confirmed her baby brother was also present and unharmed during the incident. KTRK-TV reported the young boy was in the care of family.

The Houston Police Department also shared the news of the shooting on Twitter.

HPD Commanders and PIO en route to 12101 Fondren for a shooting where initial reports are three deceased and one juvenile being transported to an area hospital. No other info at this time. Additional details will be provided at the scene. #HouNews. pic.twitter.com/AMiteu7oGq

— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 1, 2021

A family member reportedly said the young girl called various family members and FaceTimed her grandmother after the shooting. The girl reportedly showed the older woman everything that had happened in the apartment on FaceTime, and the grandmother called 911.

Houston police spoke to press at the site. Assistant Police Chief Patricia Cantu said, "This is a very, very tragic scene. We're sending out prayers to the family. This was a very difficult scene not only for us, the officers, but the family as well. So we're sending out prayers and hopes that anybody has any information."

Houston police are still looking for the shooter. They do not have a suspect description or known motive, but they said the shooter did not break into the apartment and may have known the victims. Investigators are also reviewing surveillance video taken in the area.

"This was probably not a home invasion.… There was no damage. There was possibly a known disturbance of some sort," Cantu said. "But right now, we don't have all the details, and right now, we're just looking for a suspect to see what happened."

Newsweek contacted the Houston Police Department for updates but did not hear back in time for publication.