What will it take for Houston TranStar cameras to record?

KPRC 2 takes the question to Mayor John Whitmire

HOUSTON – Houston is known for a lot of great things, but when it comes to road rage shooting incidents, we lead the country according to Gun Violence Archive.

It’s an alarming statistic and something Houstonians are not proud of.

TranStar cameras along the roadways are used for monitoring traffic and incidents but the system does not record video or save images.

KPRC 2′s Re’Chelle Turner and photojournalist Oscar Chavez spent the day asking city leaders what it will take to get TranStar cameras to record.

Turner and Chavez also talked with family members of road rage victims, including Louise Wilson’s parents and Paul Castro.

“Tomorrow is Louise’s 18th birthday. We’ve been kind of not really looking forward to the day. She’s not going to be here,” Daniel Wilson said.

Daniel Wilson and his wife Krista spoke to Turner about their daughter Louise, who was shot and killed while driving on the Pierce Elevated.

SEE ALSO: ‘It’s a senseless act’ 17-year-old driver killed in possible road rage shooting was headed to Galveston to visit friends

Houston Police don’t have any leads in the case and released a sketch of the man they say opened fired.

Louise’s parents believe their daughter’s case could have progressed much differently if TranStar cameras captured the violent shooting.

“We went through even on just Google maps looking for any business that might have a camera; we relayed all that information to the detectives through our family. The detectives were very thorough, and at every place we called, they said, ‘Hey, do you have a camera?’ The detectives had already been there. But, I mean, again, these cameras have direct view of the roadway, so they would be just a critical tool that they could use,” Wilson said.

The idea of TranStar cameras recording is nothing new. It’s something Houston Police have discussed through its Safe Roadway Initiative. The plan was created after David Castro was shot and killed after leaving an Astros game in 2021.

“I think what’s happening is a lot of these bad individuals know that they don’t have any chance of getting caught if they do something on the freeways so they’re completely comfortable with violating the law knowing that all they have to do is speed away and no one will ever catch them this is something that needs to be fixed,” Paul Castro said.

Turner asked Mayor John Whitmire if getting TranStar cameras to record video is something he wants to propose or see happen.

“You need safeguards, you need due process, you need all the good governance you need, protocols. But at the end of the day, it’s all about public safety, ending road rage, assisting law enforcement to have another set of eyes on our thoroughfares and roads,” he said.

Mayor Whitmire says he’s been briefed on TranStar camera recordings before and said he wants to end road rage shootings.

Turner talked to a spokesman with the Texas Department of Transportation who said the idea has been discussed. Turner also reached out to Houston TranStar about the cost to record cameras and memory storage.

She is waiting to hear back.

SEE ALSO: Family pleas for killer to be caught after teen girl dies in road rage shooting in downtown Houston

How HPD’s ‘Safe Roadways’ Initiative is combatting road rage shootings in the Houston area

‘One went in my shoe:’ Bullets riddle trucks in 2 separate NW Harris Co. road rage shootings

HPD’s new record-keeping system aims to improve crime tracking

Family of 19-year-old killed in road rage shooting says he had a bright future ahead of him

About the Authors

Emmy award-winning journalist born and raised in Alabama. College football fanatic and snow cone lover! Passionate about connecting with the community to find stories that matter.

A creative force with a lifelong passion for the arts. Exploring the realms of acting, singing, and film at an early age. With nearly 100 original songs, he is a BMI-published author, his music resonates on all major platforms, international video, films and Netflix.

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