HPD: Security guard shot to death protecting condo complex

Investigators said guard's gun likely used against him

Rene Almeida
Rene Almeida

HOUSTON – A killer is on the loose early Friday morning after a security guard was shot and killed outside a southwest Houston condominium complex.

Houston homicide detectives tell Local 2 that someone has been detained for questioning in connection to the murder of a security guard in southwest Houston.

Police declined to give any further details but the detainment comes less than 24 hours after Rene Almeida was shot and killed outside the gates of the Leawood Condominiums.

Family members said Almeida, 51, was a loving grandfather who'd only been working at the complex on Leawood Boulevard and Bissonnet for about two weeks before he was killed on the job early Friday morning.

According to police, Almeida and his alleged killer got into a scuffle after the security guard refused to let the him through the gates.  Only invited guests of residents with proper identification are allowed inside the complex.

Police believe the suspect may have wrestled Almeida's own gun from him and used it against him. Almeida's work belt was found on the scene but not his gun.

"(The security guard) was armed," HPD's Brian Evans said. "He was a licensed security officer so we believe that was indeed the case. He was definitely armed."

Police said Almeida, who was a grandfather, was assaulted then shot several times. 

"I heard the gunshots," resident Jamail Williams said.  " I was coming out the gate and that's when I seen him lying there."

Paramedics rushed Almeida to Ben Taub Hospital but he died before they arrived.

"Why would they do that to him?" said another resident, Magan Merriweather. "He's only trying to make sure that we're over here safe. He risked his life to make sure that no one is getting in these apartments that is not suppose to be. That's just shocking. And it hurts my heart to know that somebody killed him."

Detectives said they are reviewing security camera video and a visitor log book kept by the Texas State Private Security Services Company. Investigators said T.S.P.S.S.C. employed Almeida.

Some residents reported seeing a man on a black motorcycle parked outside the gates prior to the shooting, although police have not confirmed it to be the getaway vehicle.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.