HOUSTON - A New Year's celebration at Five Nine Hookah Lounge on South Wilcrest turned deadly shortly after the clock struck midnight.
Just two hours into a New Year and nearly 20 gunshots were fired in the parking lot, according to the Houston Police Department.
24-year-old Italia McGregor was killed. Her boyfriend Keith was shot and sent to the hospital.
Her aunt, Kimberly McGregor says Italia was a mother to three children. Her youngest was only 2-months old.
New Year’s Eve was the first time she’d gone out without her son.
"We've been devastated," McGregor said. "I mean we still have lumps in our throat in our stomach over the senseless murder. We're just we're just heartbroken."
HPD say at least 3-4 men attacked Keith as the couple was leaving.
"One of the men was trying to talk to Italia and her boyfriend was like she's with me," McGregor said.
Their friends jumped in and a fight then broke out, according to investigators.
McGregor says the men were complete strangers.
The suspects were captured on surveillance video wearing dark-colored hoodies.
Italia’s murder now joins a grim statistic.
According to Houston Police, of the 473 murders last year, about 70% of them were cleared, meaning there’s nothing else HPD could do.
Compare that to 2020, when 59% of the 405 murders were cleared.
McGregor believes the community could play a part in improving those numbers.
"I think it's horrible. I think it's horrible and we have to do a lot about that. Those closed cases, people know. Somebody knows. Because they know. Everybody, you have to speak up. We have to speak out. We cannot keep our mouths closed if we see something, say something. That's the only way that people are going to get justice," McGregor said.
Police say the suspects fled in a white Dodge Charger.
If you know anything about this case, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for any information that could lead to an arrest.