The incident happened on the East Freeway near I-10 and Federal Road in Houston, the Houston Police Department said.
Police said the two boys, ages 6 and 8, thought a rock hit their vehicle before seeing their father slump over the steering wheel, local media reported. The boys reportedly grabbed the wheel and guided the SUV off the freeway’s main lanes for about a mile and onto a road. They ran for help once the SUV came to a stop.
Police said the father died at the scene. The boys were not injured, according to KHOU-TV.
Details about the circumstances leading to the shooting were unclear.
“We don’t know if it was road rage or if it was someone actually trying to get these individuals,” Lt. R. Willkens told KTRK-TV. “So, prayers for their family. The kids are safe right now.”
No descriptions of a suspect or vehicle were immediately released.