Police credited the boys for their quick thinking, adding that their presence of mind prevented any more accidents from occurring on the freeway.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
A 29-year-old man was driving a Toyota Sequoia on Interstate 10 in Houston with his sons, ages 8 and 6, on August 20, 2021, when he was fatally shot, around 11 pm. The startled boys told Houston police that they heard a loud noise and thought a rock had hit the car, according to NBC News.
After seeing their father slumped over the steering wheel of their SUV, the boys knew they had to do something, otherwise, their car could possibly cause another accident. The victim's sons then steered the SUV off the freeway to a strip mall's parking lot where one of the children got out of the car. He then ran to get help, Houston Police Department (HPD) Public Information Officer John Cannon told CNN.
Two brothers, age 8 and 6, steer a car safely off a freeway after their father was shot in the head and killed while driving in Houston, Texas, police say. https://t.co/2Oh9k1Yy0k— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 23, 2021
According to the police, the desperate boys found a woman leaving a Chili’s restaurant nearby who helped them out by calling 911 to report the incident. First responders who turned up at the scene declared their father dead from a single gunshot wound to his head. Both the boys were unharmed. Police credited the boys for their quick thinking, adding that their presence of mind prevented any more accidents from occurring on the freeway.
However, a suspect or motive behind the murder is as yet unknown, and investigators are trying to piece the puzzle together. “We don’t know if it was road rage or if it was someone actually trying to get these individuals,” said Lt. R. Willkens with the Houston Police Department (HPD), per WAFB. “So, prayers for their family. The kids are safe right now.”
Though there is no information on the shooter or their vehicle, the HPD is looking for a "white passenger vehicle," Cannon said, adding that investigators will go through all security cameras in and around the area to "see if this was captured at all." They will also look around for witnesses to the incident.
This is so heart breaking,I live in Houston and it has gotten really bad here in Houston I pray every time I leave my home,to get me where I’m going and especially going home— verisa johnson (@VerisaJ) August 23, 2021
Shockingly, this shooting was at least the third violent incident involving gunfire in the city in a 12-hour period. Fortunately, none of the incidents seem to be related to each other.
These boys were so brave and smart to handle that intense situation in the manner that they did. I don't know many 6 or 8 year olds who would think to do that. I feel so much for them having lost their dad. I'm glad that they are safe.— ⚗️🧪K. McIntire 🔬🔭 (@Imsouthern) August 23, 2021
People on social media have praised the siblings and the late father. One person wrote: "Saddest yet most incredible incident I ever heard. Imagine the terror of those little guys witnessing the death of their dad yet keeping it together to safely steer the car off a busy freeway without injuring themselves or others. This is what I call a heroic act. My GOD!!" Another added: "Somebody was a good dad, more than just their dad prepared them to stay whole, prayers remain in force surrounding our brave young."
Meanwhile, anyone with any information about the shooter or the incident has been requested to reach out to Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KPRC 2 Click2Houston (Father shot, killed while driving with kids in the vehicle)