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Family of HPD officers shot during burglary investigation speak out

HOUSTON – Family members of the two Houston police officers who were shot Tuesday during a burglary investigation in a southwest Houston neighborhood spoke out, and the police chief gave updates in the case.

HPD officer Ronny Cortez is still recovering in the hospital, but officer Jose Munoz was released on Wednesday.

"We're very grateful to be here, recovering with him. It could have been a lot worse," Cortez's brother, Danny, said.

Houston police chief Art Acevedo said Cortez, a 24-year veteran of the department, was shot several times in the stomach and back. He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition with a bullet lodged near his spine.

VIDEO: Family speaks out

Cortez can move his upper extremities, according to Acevedo.

"He's been in extremely good spirits considering he was shot multiple times," Cortez's brother said. "His first words to me were, 'At least I get to build up my upper body now.'" 

Munoz, a 10-year veteran of the department, was shot in the foot and leg, Acevedo said. He was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. Officials said he could be released Wednesday.

WATCH: HPD chief update

"We're hoping for the best. God first, and go from there," Munoz's wife said. "He's a father first and he loves his kids. We're partners... we started this and we're going to finish it."

The family members thanked Houston police, the first responders and the entire community for their support.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that Cortez is "possibly paralyzed."

PHOTOS: 2 officers shot in southwest Houston

"We need prayers," Cortez's wife, Sheri, said Tuesday night. "We are not out of the woods yet."

If you would like to help the injured officers, click here for a link to donate.

VIDEO: Ambulances arrive at Texas Medical Center

One suspect dead, one wanted

The incident was reported about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 8700 block of Sterlingame Drive, between Bellfort Avenue and West Airport Boulevard, just east of Beltway 8, in the Glenshire neighborhood.

Acevedo said officers were called to the neighborhood just after 11 a.m. to investigate a reported burglary. About 20 minutes later, officers who had arrived in the neighborhood were flagged down by a resident who said there was a burglary in progress. More officers were called to the area, a perimeter was established and a search began.

VIDEO: Mayor, police chief talk about shooting

Another person told two officers they noticed that the door to a shed in their backyard was open, Acevedo said. As the officers opened the door to the shed, a man stepped out and began shooting. The officers returned fire, killing the gunmen. 

The deceased suspect has not been identified, but Acevedo said he is a known gang member.

Acevedo said he's confident they will catch the second suspect, who is still on the run. Acevedo said he doesn't believe that suspect was involved in the shooting.

Acevedo said the two suspects burglarized four homes.

Anyone with information about the case should call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477. A $20,000 reward is being offered.

VIDEO: Second gunman still on the run

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