CONROE- A man was shot in the back around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, in the Wood Creek Shopping Center, through the door of a nightclub he ran inside when a gunman began firing into the air. The club is called Strait Gravy, near Johnny B. Dalton’s in the 2000 block of North Frazier St.
Conroe Police received the dispatch as a “disturbance with shots fired.”
In a statement released Monday, Sgt. Bob Berry said the initial on-scene investigation indicated several people were having an argument in front of the club, when one of them pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and fired it into the air. The crowd dispersed and some of them ran inside the club.
“The suspect apparently fired several more shots into the building striking plate glass windows and walls,” Berry said. “The victim, Kenneth Thomas, 22, was inside the club and was struck in the back by one of the bullets.”
To watch on-scene video, click the arrow below; to read more, scroll down.
The victim was hit near the spinal column and critically injured. He was unconscious when transported by ground ambulance to Conroe Regional Medical Center, but was alert and in stable condition by Monday.
Officers arrived to find a large crowd gathered outside the club and more than a dozen shell casings on the pavement.
“Criminal Investigators and Crime Scene Investigators arrived on the scene and began canvassing the area for evidence and witnesses,” Berry said.
Witnesses were interviewed at the scene and at the police station. The shooter was described as a black male, dressed in all red, including his hoodie and shoes. Witnesses described the car used by the shooter to flee as a maroon sedan with blade rims.
Officers searched the area of the nightclub and the neighborhood of a possible suspect extensively, but the shooter was not found. Berry said investigators have several leads on the identity of the suspect.
A business owner in the shopping center, who asked her name be withheld, said she was very upset by the incident, although it occurred well after her business hours. She said because the victim was reportedly an innocent bystander, it could have been one of her employees or customers.
The same woman also said it was the first major crime she knew of to occur in the shopping center in the five years since her business moved there.
Conroe Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to contact the Conroe Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 936-522-3231, Investigator Larry Black at 936-522-3236, or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 800-392-7867.