HOUSTON – Two people have been killed and at least 22 others injured when gunfire rang out at a large house party in a Houston suburb, sending partygoers fleeing in panic, authorities said.
The shots erupted late Saturday night at the party where more than 100 mostly young adults had gathered at a home in the Cypress area of Houston's suburbs, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. A statement from that office said two suspects were being sought early Sunday, but it did not elaborate.
The office said a man and woman were dead and those hurt had injuries ranging from minor to critical.
Alan Bernstein, director of public affairs for the sheriff's office, emailed a copy of the statement to The Associated Press but didn't give further details in response to questions emailed to him.
None of the victims were identified by name and the extent of their injuries were not immediately apparent.
Earlier, Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman with the sheriff's office, told the Houston Chronicle in its online edition Sunday that some of the wounded suffered shots to the foot, ankle and hip. He also told the paper that others fleeing the home had injuries such as twisted ankles.
"It was a pretty chaotic scene," Gilliland told the Houston Chronicle, adding that deputies arriving at the scene saw some people lying on the ground and others running.
The newspaper quoted witnesses as saying some people banged on doors for help afterward urging neighbors to call 911 amid scenes of crying and screaming.
There was no immediate word on how many shots were fired or a possible motive.
The sheriff's statement said those hurt were taken to at least five area medical centers or hospitals, some by paramedics and some in private vehicles.
Television news footage showed emergency crews rolling one person on a wheeled stretcher to a waiting helicopter and loading that person aboard. Ambulances also stood by with other official vehicles, their emergency lights flashing. Hours afterward, crime tape surrounded the home as people looked on.
Aerial views of the block identified by authorities as the shooting site showed a suburban tract of dozens of two-story homes compactly arrayed in a suburb several miles west-northwest of Houston's downtown.