A Houston-area father and mother used their shooting and driving skills to escape from two suspected robbers near their home.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the mother of the two babies was driving up to their driveway just after midnight on Monday when two teens attempted to enter a rear door of the vehicle, where a one-year-old was sitting. The father was armed and fired at the two assailants, injuring both, as the mother drove them all to safety.
“The adult male feared for the safety of his family and fired shots and struck both suspects,” Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzales said in a tweet. “The wife was driving and drove away after the shooting to get away from the suspects.”
The family was uninjured.
KHOU obtained doorbell footage of the moment when the suspects attempted to enter the SUV, and the father shot them. After the father fired several shots through the rear window, the family can be seen speeding away, leaving the two 16-year-old suspects injured at the scene. Cries for help can be heard from the suspects after the family drives off.
The suspects were picked up shortly after the shooting by a private vehicle believed to be with the suspects and taken to the hospital. Gonzales said they are in stable and fair condition, and the investigation is ongoing. The sheriff’s department did not release any names of those involved.
This case in Houston is not the first time a would-be victim of a car robbery shot back at their attackers. It comes amidst a rise in carjacking, particularly by teen offenders, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The FBI crime reporting system does not track carjacking nationwide, but cities are noticing a surge beginning around 2020. CNN reported that carjacking has quadrupled in New York City from 2018 to 2022 and nearly quadrupled in Philadelphia between 2015 and 2021. In Washington, D.C., juvenile cases of carjacking have nearly tripled in the period between 2020 and 2021, according to the New York Times.
“When you don’t have activities in their communities, everything’s shut down, young people are going to find a way to entertain themselves,” Tariq Majeed, a carjacking victim in New York City, told the Times. “It’s recreation, that’s what it is.”
Legal gun ownership for self-defense has also seen a marked rise since 2020, with multiple studies showing millions of new gun owners. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, new owners accounted for 30 percent of gun sales in 2021, bringing the total estimate of Americans who have become gun owners since the start of the pandemic to 13.8 million as of January.