Police said Friday there is a "high probability" that a high-speed melee on a Houston freeway that left two dead and a gunman fleeing the scene was drug related.
Although police quickly found drugs in the victims' car, which had been forced off Interstate 10 on Thursday evening, they initially said the incident might have been a case of road rage.
In the end, the gunman himself fled the scene after a witness caught up in the ordeal fired at him with a pistol.
A manhunt was still underway Friday for the suspect, who was armed with what a witness said appeared to be a semi-automatic AR-15. He had crashed into a silver Nissan carrying two men, forced it to spin off the road, then opened fire through the front windshield, killing two men inside.
Police, who found drugs in the victim's car, said Friday "there is a high probability the murders are drug related."
The gunman was described as an Hispanic male in his 20s, about 5-feet, 7-inches, wearing a red shirt. The victims were described as middle-aged black males.
After the brief confrontation with the witness, the suspect and a companion fled the scene in the dark-colored, 4-door sedan that had forced the target car off the highway around 6 p.m. Thursday.
"Unreal scene just witnessed on I-10 in Houston," tweeted Daniel Gotera of KHOU-TV. "A guy gets out of his car with gun just shooting in the middle of freeway. Unbelievable."
Witnesses performed CPR on the victims before the firefighters arrived but both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Houston Police shut down a stretch of the freeway for hours to investigate the incident. Videos from local media showed stalled traffic, multiple police cars and a fire truck on the scene, as well as a car being
"A major accident makes you mad on the way home, but seeing something like this to a normal citizen ... witnesses are very disturbed," Houston Police Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins told reporters Thursday night.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Houston highway shooting: Melee that left 2 dead likely drug-related