See how the shooting that left 5 officers hospitalized unfolded
HOUSTON – A tip from a neighbor led police to a home in the Gloverdale neighborhood in southeast Houston to execute a warrant after a narcotics investigation.
Despite knowing the potential dangers, Houston police on the scene could not have predicted that five of their men would end up in the hospital after a shootout, two in critical condition.
The shooting happened in the 7800 block of Harding Street while officers were serving a search warrant for narcotics activity; specifically, the distribution of black tar heroin.
Twelve HPD narcotics officers and six patrol officers from the Eastside Division arrived at 4:15 p.m., police said.
As officers breached the front door of the residence around 5 p.m. Monday while announcing they were Houston police officers, they were met with gunfire from at least one of two suspects, Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said.
At 5:07 p.m. the first report of an officer down came through. Three minutes later, Avecedo and Mayor Sylvester Turner were asking for prayers.
The officers returned fire, killing both suspects.
Four officers, ages 40 to 54, were hit with gunfire and another officer, 33, suffered a knee injury during the shootout.
At 5:23 p.m. Monday, the Police Officers Union confirmed all five officers had been taken via LifeFlight helicopter or ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Acevedo said the two officers who were shot in the neck area and were critically wounded underwent surgery Monday and are now in critical but stable condition.
The other two officers are in stable condition and are expected to be released at some point Monday.
Acevedo said the 54-year-old case agent leading the narcotics team Monday was one of two critically injured officers shot in the neck. He said this case agent has been shot on the job several times before.
Officers used robots to search the residence after a SWAT standoff, and around 6:58 p.m. were able to confirm both suspects were dead inside the home.
There’s blood splattered near the door and several bullet holes by the windows. https://t.co/uQyMtnV96b— Taisha Walker (@KPRC2Taisha) January 29, 2019
Shortly after, police said the scene on Harding was secured and residents were allowed back into their homes.
Police had asked citizens to avoid the Gloverdale neighborhood around the shooting scene for emergency vehicles. Police told KPRC2 that parts of the neighborhood near the scene had been evacuated. Harris County deputies are also responded to the scene to assist Houston police officers.
Around 9 p.m., police said one of the officers was released from Memorial Hermann Hospital. The other injured officers will remain at the hospital overnight.
President of the Police Officers Union Joe Gamaldi expressed his frustration at the shooting.
“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back,” Gamaldi said. “We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.
Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement on the shooting: "This evening's horrific attack on police officers is a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe. The city of Houston and the Houston Police Department will have whatever state resources they need to bring swift justice to those involved. I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the officers injured, and for the continued safety of all law enforcement officers who protect our communities."
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