Officer, man exchange gunfire in N. Houston

HOUSTON – A Houston police officer and a 34-year-old robbery suspect exchanged gunfire on a busy street in north Houston Thursday afternoon.

A two-man HPD unit was following a truck that had been taken at gunpoint from its owner Friday at a gas station on Nordling Street. Police said Jose L. Martinez was responsible for taking the vehicle.

As the officers followed the truck, Martinez sped up, starting a short chase that ended when the truck collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Airline and Wellington.

According to HPD spokesman Kease Smith, Martinez jumped from the truck with a pistol in his hand and ran. He was pursued on foot by the two officers.

Smith said Martinez turned and fired several shots at the officers. Officer S. Castillo returned fire, but no one was shot during the exchange.

Police said Martinez continued to run and was chased into a nearby alley, where Smith said he and the officer exchanged shots a second time, without effect.

Martinez went into hiding behind a building, according to reports. The officers called for backup and set up a perimeter around the area. An HPD K-9 dog was sent in and flushed out Martinez, who put down his weapon and surrendered.

Martinez was taken to LBJ Hospital to be treated for dog bites.