I don't know if Carl Landry has any Irish in his family lineage .....but the 25 year old backup forward for the Rockets ....seemed to have some Irish luck on his side early Tuesday morning.
I was awakened from a deep sleep Tuesday morning by Bill Langlois ...one of the best assignment desk people in the business. He had just gotten a tip that Landry had been involved in a shooting. The rest of my day was spent trying to figure out just exactly what happened.
Melissa Lanford ..also a top assignment desk manager ... told me upon my arrival at the station that a report around 3am came into the desk ..... .. that a man had been shot in the leg near the intersection of Paige and Bell. The cops got a call around 4am ....and I needed to figure out what exactly happened.
Landry had played well the night before during the Rockets big win at New Orleans ..and the team charter had arrived back in Houston well after midnight.
The questions were many when photographer Gus Pereyra and I arrived on the scene. It's usually difficult to find witnesses who want to talk about sutff like this ... but we found a couple of people that helped us fill in the blanks.
According to a neighbor ..the 911 call on Landry's car crash/shooting was made at 4:04am. Landry's SUV was crashed into a utility pole ....having been rammed by another car ...at the intersection of Palmer and Leeland. Just prior to that ...according to what Landry told the cops ...the car had sideswiped his SUV ..and then spun around and rammed him again ..crashing him into the utility pole. when Landry and his female companion emerged from the SUV ....two young men got out of the other car ...and according to Landry ...the passenger pulled out a pistol out of his back pocket and fired twice. He hit Landry once. Landry and his friend .....took off ...in opposite directions. The suspects chased Landry.
Apparantly everyone in the neighborhood ...heard the cars slam together and hit the utility pole. Some heard the two shots that were fired ....others did not ...but when they came out of their houses after being awakened ...they found two empty cars ....a pair of sandals ...and blood drops all over like someone had been shot. Someone saw Landry run down Palmer ...one direction ...and his female companion ...run another way down Leeland towards a local milk plant. After Landry fled on foot .....bleeding as he ran down the sidewalk ..and being pursued by the two suspects ..... his girlfriend returned to the scene ...when cops showed up ...and basically collapsed in their arms.
It was an unbelievably scary situation for Landry ..and his friend. Landry apparantly outran his pursuers ...as he furiously knocked on neighbors' doors trying to get someone to let him in. Landry owns a new condo just two blocks away from the intersection where most of the action took place ..... but it's not clear if he ever got back to that condo. I went to his front door multiple times today ....but no one ever came to the door.
This area of the city ...just a few miles east of downtown ...and just north of UH ....is considered a transitional area. They have had a few car break-ins in the area ...I'm told ...nothing has ever happened like this. Now it has ... Houston has definately become a more dangerous city.
Landry was treated for a gunshot wound to his left calf and a dislocated finger on his left hand at Memorial Hermann Hospital. He was treated and released. My sources say Landry was scared stiff. They say this was not some "shady dealings" by another pro athlete. "This kid is as clean as they come they said. This was simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
We got video of the cars involved ...odds are the suspects were driving a stolen car ....but we couldn't get the identity verified. The two suspects who ran off ...are still at large. Anyone with information should call 713-308-3974.
Scary times in our city .....but a very lucky St. Patrick's day for Carl Landry. It's one he won't soon forget.