HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Charonda Johnson could tell right away which were fireworks and which were gunshots. She was standing right near the victims.
“Did-did-did-did-did-da-da! That's all I heard. You heard people running and screaming and I instantly went down. I just saw some bodies dropping. It was crazy.” she says.
When the bullets stopped flying, three men lay dying.
Two more, including a ten-year-old boy were wounded.
Witnesses identify two of the victims as Charles "Screwball" Jackson, and Daquarius Tucker.
Pastor Elmo Johnson was parking cars a few blocks away for another event when he heard the shots too. They brought him back to earlier times when drugs and crime ruled the neighborhood.
Freedman’s Town has come a long way in just the past few years. The brick streets are still there, but modern townhomes are crowding out the older shotgun shacks and small houses.
“I buried 22 kids here. I say kids but they were adults. I thought we were over that because we built out the neighborhood. We have high rises. we've got condo's we've got new development That won't happen anymore.”
But it did happen. Why? Houston Police say they don't know the motive or who was the intended target.
Several rumors are flying around the brick streets of Freedman's Town. There are rumors that armed men had been stalking the neighborhood all day. Rumors that this was in retaliation for another shooting. Rumors that there were three gunmen ... or maybe four.
But one thing is clear to Charonda Johnson. It's amazing with all the lead flying more people weren’t killed.
“Yeah ... by the grace of God,” she says.