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Victims of human trafficking flee to IHOP after shooting: police

Houston police say two men held by a smuggling ring, including one who was shot and wounded, escaped from their captors and called a local IHOP for help.

Commander Jonathon Halliday told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the men told police they had escaped from a “human trafficking situation” at a hotel near IHOP in the east of Houston, where they had alerted the authorities. Halliday said police stopped two vehicles leaving the scene and arrested nine people.

“But we don’t know which of them are victims and which are possible suspects at this time,” he said.

A Houston Police Department vehicle is seen near the NFL Experience at the George R. Brown Convention Center, February 4, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Houston police reported a possible “human trafficking situation” in the east side of the city on Wednesday.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Two other gunshot victims showed up at local hospitals, one shot in the arm and the other in the leg, Halliday said. The two gunshot victims are in their 30s and 40s and are in stable condition. Police suspect one of the victims was a perpetrator in the smuggling ring, but have not made a decision, according to Halliday.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident and interview the detained men with Department of Homeland Security officers, Halliday said. Once the police have identified the victims, they will be provided with the appropriate resources.

All of the victims and suspects are male. The police did not release the names of the victims and suspects, their ages or their nationalities.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


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