HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Residents at the Mission Falls apartment complex where a 4-year old was shot dead during a robbery Monday night are now expressing concerns over security.
According to the Harris County Sherrif's Office, 27-year old Diana Gomez was unloading groceries into her apartment when two suspects approached and ask for her purse. When she resisted, one of them fired multiple times at her and her daughters.
Gomez and her 10-year old daughter were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and are expected to survive. 4-year old Ava Castillo was transported by Lifeflight but did not survive her injuries.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is pursuing leads provided by witnesses. A man taken into custody at a nearby motel on an unrelated warrant is believed to have information on the robbery. Officials say they are reviewing security footage provided by the complex.
Residents at gated Mission Falls apartment complex say safety has become a growing concern. They hope this incident leads to improvements.
"The gate stays open," said Jessica Zapata, who has lived in the complex for three years. "It doesn't really work, so we really don't know who's coming in and who's going out and if were being followed or not."
FOX26 observed the gate open throughout their time on the property Tuesday late-afternoon. It remained open after sunset Tuesday night. Multiple vehicles were seen entering the gates without scanning in at the entry point.
"They used to have people in patrol cars riding around, not anymore," said Bre'nell Manning, a two-year resident of the complex. "They don't have lights back here, it's just pitch black."
FOX26 observed a section of parking lot lights not illuminated Tuesday evening in the area near where Gomez and her daughters were shot, resulting in near total darkness. The only light was that from vehicle headlights and the neighboring industrial building. Other sections of the complex had functioning lights in the lot.
A request for comment on these resident safety concerns was placed with the property management Tuesday afternoon. No response had been received by the time this story went to air Tuesday night.
If you'd like to donate to the family of Ava Castillo to assist in funeral expenses, the family invites you to do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/baby-ava-and-gomez-family?ssid=805740163&pos=1