HOUSTON - Police say it all began when four men believed to be victims of a human smuggling operation escaped from a room at the Days Inn in the 2900 block of Sam Houston Parkway South in Houston.
Two of the men ran to a nearby IHOP for help.
"When they arrived, they found two males, one with a gunshot wound to the arm," said Jonathon Halliday HPD Commander for Major Assaults. "They told them they had escaped from a human smuggling situation."
Two other men, who escaped from the motel, were found at nearby hospitals with gunshot wounds.
When police arrived at the motel, they say they spotted two vehicles fleeing the scene.
"Which they stopped," Halliday said. "They detained the occupants we believe they're related to this incident."
Police detained a total of nine people who were inside the vehicles.
"But we're not sure which of them are victims and which are possible suspects," said Halliday.
A total of three people were shot, and police say they are trying to locate a fourth possible shooting victim.
"They are in stable condition. They're approximately 30 to 40 years old," Halliday said. "At this time, we believe one of the victims, one of those people might possibly be a suspect. But we haven't made that determination yet."
The men told police they were shot at an unknown location two hours west of Houston in the greater San Antonio area. All of the people involved are men.
It's not known how long they had been held captive or where they are originally from.
Police say the investigation has been turned over to Homeland Security.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.