HOUSTON – A man fatally shot his girlfriend and then killed himself as she was opening a lingerie store in a shopping mall Tuesday, police said.
The man apparently confronted the woman as she was raising the security gate at the Body Luxuries store, Houston Police Lt. Albert Mihalco said.
The woman was the only employee present at the store in the Greenspoint Mall. After they struggled, the man moved the woman into a back room of the store and shot her in the head, Mihalco said. She was found wearing only a bra and panties.
"There was a struggle in the back room," Mihalco said. "I'm not sure if he tried to rape her or what was going on."
Seconds after the woman was shot, the man walked behind the counter and shot himself in the head, Mihalco said.
Before the shooting, the man had pulled the security gate back down, barricading the two of them inside the store, said Jocklynn Keville of the Greenspoint Management District.
Police did not immediately identify the two.
The shooting was reported at 10 a.m., when most stores were still closed. Police armed with helmets and shields surrounded the store before discovering the bodies.
Employees said they were just starting to open their stores when a security guard ran down the corridors, pounding on gates and doors and telling everyone to evacuate.
"I just left my coat and got out," said store clerk Deborah White.
The Greenspoint Mall is located a few miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport.