JACINTO CITY, Texas - The 17-year-old accused of shooting and wounding two Jacinto City police officers openly complained about one of those officers at a public meeting earlier this month, according to a community activist.
Jacinto City police said Edgar Omar Cuellar shot Lt. Dennis Walker and Sgt. Jennifer Simpson-Castenada when they went to his home in the 10400 block of North Oswego about 6 p.m. on Wednesday to talk to him about a shooting that happened on Tuesday. Detectives said Cuellar fired shots that damaged a Harris County Sheriff's Office patrol car.
Investigators said Cuellar's relatives tried to stop him from doing anything rash.
"As soon as officers arrived, they held him down because he wanted to leave out the back door as the officers walked in, " Jacinto City Police Chief Joe Ayala said. "As officers walked in, he reached for his waistband and pulled out his pistol and started firing."
Walker was shot in the chest and flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Police said his bulletproof vest likely saved his life. Simpson-Castenada was shot in the arm and was taken to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Both officers are expected to recover.
After the officers were shot, Cuellar barricaded himself inside the home and held a SWAT team at bay for hours, investigators said. When officers were inside the home, they and Cuellar exchanged fire, police said. Officers shot Cuellar in the leg and then took him into custody. Police said his injuries were considered non-life-threatening.
On Thursday, Houston area activist, Quanell X, called for a federal investigation into the Jacinto City Police Department.
"Several families have contacted me saying they believe they were being targeted victims of racial profiling because they were immigrants," Quanell X said.
On March 6, Quanell X hosted a town hall meeting with about 100 people present. The meeting was designed to allow residents to air grievances against the police department in a public forum. Quanell X said he specifically recalled Cuellar at the meeting.
"I remember that young man standing up and speaking out about officer Walker. That young man was frustrated, angry. He came with members of his family," Quanell X said.
Ayala said he was aware of the meeting and released a statement following the gathering. Part of it read: "There have not been any complaints of racial profiling. There is no police department corruption to my knowledge or pending reports of police brutality," the chief wrote.
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