A young mother-of-three has been shot dead in front of her children, allegedly after an argument with her boyfriend.

Ashanti Hunter, 32, was gunned down as she sat in the front seat of her cousin's SUV outside an apartment complex in Houston on Sunday, according to Daily Mail.

Hunter's 11-year-old was in the backseat at the time when the man - allegedly her partner, 31-year-old Albee Lewis - fired a number of shots through the front passenger window.

Harris County sheriff's Sgt. Greg Pinkins said the children quickly fled the scene, racing away so quickly they "ran out of their shoes".

Advertisement

Hunter's son was inside at the time and called 911 from an upstairs room.

The 32-year-old's cousin, Myriane Rodriguez, said she just dropped the children back at the apartment when she heard Hunter and Lewis arguing.

She then desperately tried to get help, but it was too late.

"I knocked on everybody's door, nobody answered their doors," Rodriguez told KHOU.

"I heard gunshots and it was my cousin in my passenger seat."

"Why, why would he do this. She loved her three beautiful kids."

Pictures from the scene show the white SUV with what looks like six bullet holes in the window.

Shoes that were being worn by the children when they left were also seen in the parking lot.

Advertisement

Police said the gunman, alleged to be Lewis, then fled the scene. Investigators said he drove to a motel a few miles away, before calling police to surrender.

Lewis is charged with murder, and he appeared in probable cause court on Monday, Click2Houston reports.

During his brief hearing, the judge heard Lewis admitted to arguing with Hunter and grabbing the gun.

The court was also told he said he did not remember pulling the trigger, but said: "I must have shot her."

Bond was not set for Lewis.