‘They were just innocent bystanders’: 2 BR families recover after deadly Houston shooting

Police in Houston Texas are looking for a group of men who reportedly shot up a group of people at a nightclub. The gunfire left one person dead and four others
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:02 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Police in Houston, Texas are looking for a group of men who reportedly shot up a group of people at a nightclub on Sunday, Jan. 15. The gunfire left one person dead and four others hurt.

Officials say the men were wearing ski masks and showed up at a Harris County nightclub before shooting around 50 bullets into the crowd.

Two of the victims were Tamaya Smothers and Amariah Pridgen. The best friends are college students at Southern University.

Amariah Pridgen and Tamaya Smothers
Amariah Pridgen and Tamaya Smothers(Source: Family)

They were heading somewhere else that night when they had an issue with their car. Smothers said they were waiting on someone at that event to help them with their car.

“We actually ended up going this place because Amariah brakes, she started having some troubles with her car,” explained Smothers.

Both ladies are undergoing extensive surgeries, and their families are in Harris County.

The past few days have been tough for these families. Clarence Pridgen is the father of Amariah Pridgen. He said they are praying for a miracle.

“As long as she’s got air in her body, and I believe in the man above. We’re going to be alright. It’s nothing I can do anyway but put it in God’s hands,” said Clarence Pridgen, father of Amariah Pridgen.

He said both women were innocent bystanders and at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“These girls were ambushed and sabotaged just like everyone else out there. They had nothing to do with this,” explained Clarence Pridgen.

The families are calling on communities to put down firearms.

“Something needs to be done with these gun laws; it’s just out of hand,” said Kay, mother of Tamaya Smothers. There’s no way that these guns should be on the street. No parent should have to wake up to these calls in the middle of the night and be in this situation.”

Zalon Carter, of Ascension Parish, was later identified by family members as another victim from Louisiana who was shot at the nightclub that night. Family said he died at the hospital.

RELATED: Mom claims school not doing enough to honor deceased son at upcoming graduation ceremony

Officials are asking anyone with information to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-8477.

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