Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Police in Houston said an 8-year-old girl was safe after witnessing a man fatally shoot her mother before turning the weapon on himself in the parking lot of the Texas Children's Hospital.
The shooting happened shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, Assistant Chief Ban Tien of the Houston Police Department said in a press conference in which he described the incident as a murder suicide.
"What we have today is a tragedy," Ban said. "I just want to ask the whole city to pray for the deceased victims. This is truly a tragedy.
"You know, it's difficult. A loss of life is always hard. It's actually a lot more difficult during the holidays. I can only imagine what the families are going through right now."
Officers were called Sunday afternoon to the parking lot where they found the unidentified woman and the man dead inside a car with the child in the back seat.
Ban said the mother, who was in the driver seat, had been shot multiple times and that the man had died from what is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The child, he said, was uninjured.
The relationship between the woman and the man was unknown, but Ban confirmed that while the woman was the child's mother the man was not her father.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting were being investigated, he said.
"This is an isolated incident," he said.
Ban said preliminary findings indicate that prior to the shooting the woman had tried to exit the vehicle.
According to authorities, the three had driven to the hospital to seek unspecified and unrelated medical attention for the child.
Th girl was being "looked after" by physicians, he said.
The shooting was contained to the parking lot and the hospital's operations were not impacted.