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Whitmire: Assault Rifle Used in Office Shooting

State Sen. John Whitmire said Thursday afternoon he believes the gun used in the predawn shooting of his Houston area-office was likely an AR-15 assault rifle. He said it's too early to speculate about a motive or possible suspect.

Sen. John Whitmire D-Houston during a September 22 Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing

State Sen. John Whitmire said Thursday afternoon he believes the gun used in the predawn shooting of his Houston-area office was likely an AR-15 assault rifle.

The Houston Democrat’s office was fired on at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. No one was injured in the shooting, which was first reported by KHOU.

“[The bullets] were .223” he said, referring to the caliber of the slugs found. A somber-sounding Whitmire said the situation is “serious” as investigators are still determining whether his office was the sole target.

“We’ll take precautions. But it’s part of the job, unfortunately, in this day and time,” he said. “They are checking in this general area to see if anyone else received any gunfire. We don’t know yet. I don’t know yet.”

Whitmire described the office as a “turn-of-the-century” two-story house. The bullets entered the lower level.

Whitmire said that as a lawmaker he gets his fair share of threats, but no single person or group immediately came to mind as a possible suspect in the shooting.

He said his position as chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee opens him up to criticism.

“I deal with some controversial issues,” he said. “[People] have expectations that I can’t meet or don’t want to meet. But it’d be total speculation to say where it came from.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed the Houston Police Department is leading the investigation and the Texas Rangers are assisting.

Asked if the Texas DPS was going to provide security for the senator or the office, Whitmire would only say the agency “is taking precautions.”

“We are not going to talk much about it,” he said.

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Courts Criminal justice John Whitmire