Officials released the name of the person who was killed during a police chase, which happened after an illegal street takeover ahead of the weekend.
Houston police say Hoang Tran died when 21-year-old Damian West ran a red light and hit his car Friday night. The passenger in Tran’s car was severely injured.
West was expected to appear in court Monday, but in a Monday afternoon update from Harris County Vehicular Crimes Division Chief Sean Teare, West’s date was reset to June. West is charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Officials say the aggravated assault charge could be upgraded to murder if the woman in critical condition does not survive her injuries.
In probable cause court on Sunday morning, West’s bond was set at $400,000.
According to police, street takeovers usually start in a parking lot before spilling over into the streets.
This time, it started in a parking lot on Kempwood Drive in northwest Houston.
In a video, you can see drivers performing illegal stunts.
An undercover officer was at the event and called for backup, according to HPD.
West is accused of taking off, driving erratically, and running a red light, causing him to hit five different cars at the corner of Hempstead Highway and West Little York Road, killing Tran.
“Some of the stunts that they will perform are donuts, they’ll spin out on their tires, and they’ll create these huge pits full of people,” said Lynn Nguyen with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “A lot of crimes occur, obviously besides just the deadly conduct, at one of these events. There’s drugs, all kinds of different offenses that arise.”
According to court documents, West was already out on a $100 bond for an unlawful carry of a weapon charge from February 2021. He was also out on bail for theft of an ATM charge out of Fort Bend County, and a drug possession charge out of Wharton County.