Sleeping pregnant woman killed when passer-by opens fire on Houston birthday party

A pregnant woman was shot and killed Saturday as she slept in a back bedroom during a birthday party.

Police said an unknown person opened fire with an AR-15-style weapon on a house, killing 24-year-old Dixie Mendez, in the Hiram Springs area of Houston and then fled.

"She was the innocent bystander," said friend Britany Mathis. "The bullet came through the wall, and now she's gone. She's the one that ended up dead."

Police said the shots were fired following an altercation between two people outside the home, although neither of them has been identified.

About 50 other people gathered to celebrate a 15-year-old’s birthday dove to the floor to avoid more than a dozen gunshots fired into the home, witnesses said.

Mendez was struck in the head by one of the shots, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I went in and called her name, and I saw her head move," said friend Karrysha Turner. "So I called her name again, and she didn't say anything. So I tried moving the covers, that's when I saw the blood, and I just freaked out. For me to see her take her last breath hurts."

The shooting suspect fired at another house across the street afterward, police said.

No other injuries were reported, but police said shots struck two homes, vehicles, and furniture inside the homes.

Police have not identified the suspect in the shooting.

Watch this video report posted online by KHOU-TV: