2 dead, 7 in custody after shootout during undercover drug bust

HOUSTON – Police said nine people showed up to a warehouse in east Houston expecting to do a drug deal, but what they got was a drug bust. 

According to authorities, the DEA, HPD Narcotics, federal agents and SWAT officers had set up a joint investigation into a known drug and narcotics operation at the warehouse near Harrisburg Boulevard and 77th Street around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said the men showed up with their guns displayed.

When the officers identified themselves, two men ran out of the warehouse, one of whom began shooting at officers.

SWAT officers fired back, killing the shooter, police said. 

Officers said the second man got into a car and drove a short distance before crashing into a parked vehicle and fleeing on foot into a nearby quarry where he was found by K-9 officers.

Acevedo said while that man was being handcuffed, he began complaining of shortness of breath before going into full cardiac arrest.

Medics tried performing CPR, but the attempts were unsuccessful and the man died at a hospital.

“Anytime there’s a loss of life, it’s tragic, but when you shoot at police officers who are in full uniform, you know you are shooting a police officer or officers unfortunately for that suspect they have to return fire to protect themselves and others,” Acevedo said. “That’s what they did in this case and tragically that suspect lost his life.”

The other seven men surrendered peacefully and will face charges, police said. 

The SWAT officer who shot the first man has been placed on administrative leave.

About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.