HOUSTON – A senseless shooting that happened outside a 24 Hour Fitness in north Harris County has many people at a loss for words after a purse-snatcher opened fire on a woman in the parking lot.
Harris County Sheriff’s deputies said the woman had just finished working out at the gym on FM 1960 near Veterans Memorial Parkway. She was walking to her BMW around 9:15 p.m., when she was approached by a mugger.
He wanted her gym bag. When she didn’t hand it over quickly enough, the suspect shot her in the side.
Other gym members did not see the actual mugging, but did hear the gunfire and rushed to help the victim. Some grabbed blankets and jackets to try and stop the bleeding.
One Good Samaritan placed a sheet under her head and tried to comfort her.
"She was asking me to hold her hand and hug her, because I can tell she was cold and we were praying together, and another lady that was here, we were all praying together," said Arthur Spencer.
The experience left him questioning the state of the world.
"You know this was senseless. It was very senseless," Spencer said. "What is this world coming to? Wake up America. What is going on? Does everybody think God is asleep?"
The 44-year-old victim was taken to Ben Taub Hospital with a punctured lung. She was in good condition Thursday after undergoing surgery.
24 Hour Fitness manager Bryant Singleton said she’s a regular at the gym and staff members have visited her at the hospital.
The suspect fled the scene in an older-model white or silver sedan. A woman was also in the car.
24 Hour Fitness has hired an armed guard to patrol the parking lot.
Police said there have been a number of recent robberies in the area, but they do not know if they are connected.
People in the area are cautioned to be aware of their surroundings.