A gunman is on the run after killing two people in a car on a Houston freeway as horrified motorists watched during the Thursday evening rush hour, authorities said.
Police initially got a call of an accident at 5:55 p.m., but when they arrived seven minutes later, they found a shooting scene.
The fatal incident started as a crash involving two cars headed eastbound on Interstate 10, Houston Police Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins said Thursday evening at a news conference.
"One of the vehicles struck the other vehicle and spun it out ... similar to a pit maneuver," he said, according to video of the news conference tweeted by Houston Police.
Gunman fired as the car rolled downhill
Two occupants of the vehicle that rammed the other car got out, Dobbins said. One had a weapon.
The gunman, described by a witness as a Hispanic male, fired multiple rounds at the car that had been rammed, pursuing it as it rolled down a hill, he said.
Police found narcotics in the car of the two victims, both middle-aged black men, Dobbins said without further identifying them.
"Road rage? An accident? Narcotics? We just don't know, yet so I won't speculate," he added.
One witness, who had a pistol in his car, fired several rounds when he saw the shooter turn toward him, Dobbins said.
It's unclear whether the first gunman was struck by a bullet. He ran back up the hill, got into his car and sped away, Dobbins said.
"We don't have a good description of the (shooter's) vehicle," he said. "We believe it was a sedan, but we cannot tell you the model yet."
Journalist describes an 'unreal scene'
Daniel Gotera, a journalist for local station KHOU, heard the gunshots and saw people fleeing, he said.
"Unreal scene just witnessed on I-10 in Houston," he tweeted. "A guy gets out of his car with gun just shooting in the middle of freeway. Unbelievable."
Witnesses provided CPR to the car's occupants until authorities arrived. Houston police urge anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.
That part of the freeway was still closed midmorning Friday for investigation.