Houston police were searching Tuesday for a man they say is responsible for a double homicide of a 2-year-old boy and his father. Executive Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite says officers were called to a shooting outside a strip mall southwest of downtown around 1:45pm, where they found a 38-year-old man dead of gunshot wounds, reports NBC News. Five hours later, a woman called police to report that her husband and 2-year-old son were missing, per Satterwhite, noting that at that point, investigators realized the husband and the shooting victim were the same.
They believe the father met with the gunman before a possible argument resulted in the gunman shooting the victim and stealing his vehicle with his toddler inside, per the Houston Chronicle. Just after 7pm, officers found the boy dead inside a locked SUV, parked on a residential street a mile from the shooting scene. The toddler's cause of death is unknown, though Satterwhite said he may have died from heat exhaustion while inside the vehicle. It's unclear how long the boy had been left there alone. "We didn't know about the child until [his mother] called at 6:36," Satterwhite said, per NBC. "We wish we would have had more [information earlier] ... then we could have found this child in time," he added, per the Chronicle.
Police released a security video of the suspect, showing a Black man with long facial hair around his chin entering a convenience store, wearing a white T-shirt, black shorts, and a black Raiders baseball cap. "He is still at large," Satterwhite said Tuesday. "Anybody that knows anything about this incident, that might be able to direct us so that we can get this suspect in custody and off the streets as quickly as possible, we are asking for your help." By Wednesday morning, police announced a person of interest was being questioned, but they didn't specify if this was the same individual seen in the footage, per KHOU. (Read more double homicide stories.)