Mariah Boulden, of suburban Houston advertised her 18th birthday party on several social media websites, basically inviting anyone who happened to see it to her home for the celebration. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot as it turned out.
She says that her brother and others were patting people down at the door to prevent weapons from being brought in but at least two men did get in with their handguns.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, someone fired his pistol into the air as party goers danced, prompting a second man to draw his weapon and fire into the crowd.
In the chaos that ensued, two were killed and at least 16 others shot as well as several twisted ankles and fractures as the attendees attempted to escape the gunfire.
Neighbors said that it is a quiet residential neighborhood and that nothing like this has ever happened there before. Neighbor Bruno Figueroa said that he heard the commotion, looked out his window and saw at least 30 young people running and looking for a place to hide as a car came slowly down the street before suddenly accelerating and speeding away. He said, “Kids were running everywhere.”
Figueroa said that from his upstairs window he could hear those hiding nearby, he said, “They were crying, yelling, ‘My brother got shot,’ ‘Why did they do this?'”
Sheriff’s spokesman Thomas Gilliland said the first deputies on the scene saw “mass chaos.”
“Kids were literally everywhere,” Gilliland said. He also said that neighbors reported seeing kids jumping out of second story windows to escape the gunfire.
Attendee Shaniqua Brown said that she learned of the party on Instagram and that it “was not rowdy at all,” at least until the gunfire erupted first in the house and then continuing outside as people fled the scene.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said that the party had attracted at least 100 people, mostly 17 – 19 years old, noting that the very nature of issuing an open invitation like they had on multiple social media sites was an invitation to trouble. “You have no control on who to expect at your door.” He also said, “Anytime you have to factor in a bouncer and being searched at the door, you have already taken a turn for the worse.”
Garcia went on to say, “It’s a horrible combination of immaturity, access to a firearm, and the inability to control one’s self.”
Authorities are searching for two shooters, one believed to be about 17 and the other around 22.
The dead are an 18 year-old male and a 16 year-old female both of whom attended Cypress Springs High School.
One has to wonder was this a case of a ‘good guy with a gun’ who thought that he was stopping a ‘bad guy with a gun’ gone horribly wrong.