A young woman was killed and a man was injured in a shooting outside a sports bar in northwest Harris County early Sunday morning.
According to the Houston Police Department, the shooting took place around 2 a.m. in the parking lot of the Chulas Sports Cantina located in the 17100 block of Tomball Parkway.
Deputies said there was "some sort of verbal disturbance" between two groups of people inside the bar that lead to the shooting outside.
Aluxes Mares, 20, was shot in the head and transported by Memorial Hermann Life Flight. Deputies said she died at the hospital. James Butanda, 26, who was with her was also shot and is in critical condition.
Family members of Mares say Butanda is a friend of Mares’ boyfriend
Sunday afternoon, after viewing surveillance video from inside the business and after watching videos posted on social media, HPD detectives released pictures of three men they are now calling “persons of interest.”
“Please help us,” said Rolando Mares, Aluxes' uncle. “She was a very outgoing girl. High-spirited. Beautiful smile.” Rolando Mares said he visited with his niece right before she left to go to the sports bar.
“The last thing I told her, just be careful tonight, wherever you’re at,” said Mares. “From what I know, last night she was out with friends, still celebrating her birthday. Her 20th birthday was August 7th.”
Houston Police Department Sergeant Joshua Horn told KHOU 11 News Aluxes Mares was with several friends, both male and female.
A group of men sitting near Mares and her friends were reportedly trying to flirt with Mares and some of her friends. One of Mares’ friends told KHOU 11 News the flirtatious conversation was unwanted and the women tried to ignore the men.
Houston police say that back-and-forth somehow escalated into a parking lot shooting once the bar closed at 2 a.m.
Sgt. Horn said crime scene investigators collected more than 30 rounds of spent shell casings that were fired from three different handguns.
Police believe there were three shooters and say it’s possible someone within Mares’ group of friends was part of the shooting.
Investigators are working to figure out if Aluxes Mares was shot in the crossfire. Investigators don’t believe the two groups of people knew each other before the incident.
At least five vehicles that were parked outside the bar were damaged during the shooting.
“I feel like I’m in a movie right now. I can’t believe this is happening. It’s just horrifying,” said Rolando Mares. “I want the people who at least know this information to at least give the police this information. Your names won’t be put out there. Your faces won’t be put out there. But please help us.”
The family of Aluxes Mares has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.
If you know any information about the shooting, please contact the Houston Police Department at (713) 222-8477.