Murder suspect arrested after chase ends with multi-vehicle crash

HOUSTON – A police chase ended with a multi-vehicle crash in southwest Houston Wednesday and the arrest of a murder suspect.

The chase ended in the 7400 block of South Gessner Rd. around 2 p.m. Luis Contreras was arrested and charged with felony evading arrest and felon in possession of a firearm. He was wanted on a warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after the pursuit.

Police said they started chasing a man, identified as Contreras, driving a black Ford Explorer near 8800 Sharpview Drive at about 1:35 p.m. Contreras was a known gang member and was wanted by authorities for car theft, police said.

"Tried to do a stop and control stop on this individual. Unfortunately, he did not. He took off," said HPD Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite.

At least six officers were involved in the chase, police said.

“He raced around right next to me because I was parked. I thought he was going to run right into me because he was driving recklessly," said Dr. Joseph Kaye, who lives nearby.

PHOTOS: Police chase ends in crash in SW Houston

Witnesses said Contreras was driving recklessly through school zones and neighborhoods. They said he was taking turns at full speed and eventually crashing into two cars. Police said Contreras threw a bag of drugs and a gun out the window during the chase.

VIDEO: Police chase ends in multi-vehicle crash in SW Houston

“When he was in the neighborhood behind us, there was an elementary school behind us ... I kept thinking, ‘What if children were walking?’ and you have this man driving with no sense of direction,” said Jimmy Hernandez, who lives close to where the chase ended.

Police said they were able to stop Contreras. He was put on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.

“The chase didn’t last very long and unfortunately ended up in this crash, but thankfully no one was seriously injured as far as we know. Everybody is going home or going to seek medical attention by their own means -- not taking an ambulance, except for our suspect. He was injured, and he did get transported to the hospital,” said Satterwhite.

Neighbors said they were thankful the suspect is off the streets.

“The gang division -- we work hard to rid the streets of documented gang members. It’s what we do,” said Sgt. Jaime Ramos, with the Houston Police Gang Division.

Contreras, 21, is charged with capital murder in the death of Martin Pineda. 

Pineda, 38, was shot in the abdomen and taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

An investigation identified Contreras and Oscar Rene Martinez as suspects in the case. Martinez was arrested on June 23 and charged with capital murder. Police said he confessed to his role in Pineda's death.  

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