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3 HPD officers remain in hospital, investigation into shootout continues

HOUSTON – Three days after a shootout at a suspected drug house, crime scene unit investigators were back at the southeast Houston residence collecting evidence while three undercover Houston police officers remain in the hospital.

KPRC2 has learned that one of the officers could be released Thursday. The other two are in serious, but stable condition at Memorial Hermann. 

During a City Council meeting, Mayor Sylvester Turner talked about the incident that is weighing heavily on the community

 "It’s a reminder we're all in the front line together, so to speak, and so is the community and law enforcement working together for the good of people who live in our city," Turner said.

Members of the Houston Police Department’s Narcotics team were serving a warrant at a home in southeast Houston on Monday. 

Police say once officers were inside the house, Dennis Tuttle, 59, shot at police and the department says his wife, Rhegena Nicholas, 58, tried to grab an officer's gun. Five officers were injured. Both Tuttle and Nicholas died at the home.

The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office released the cause of death for Nicholas as gunshot wounds to the torso and right lower extremity. 

Monique Caballero, a friend of Nicholas for years, told KPRC2 that her friend was caring and selfless and that she doesn’t believe the allegations against the couple.

“Until everything is investigated, we are not going to know the extent of everything,” Caballero said. 

The autopsy report for Tuttle hasn’t been released yet. 

In the meantime, outside the home where five officers were injured, on Wednesday morning members of the Houston Forensic Science Center Crime Scene Unit continued to collect evidence. 

On Monday, members of the HPD’s narcotics team served a warrant at the home where Tuttle and Nicholas lived. 

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said they received a tip that someone was selling drugs from inside the home, black tar heroin.  

The chief said when a dozen narcotics officers along with six normal patrol units showed up to serve the warrant, they turned their lights and sirens on and announced police were at the front door. 

Once officers were inside the home, the HPD said they were met with gunfire by Tuttle and that his wife attempted to grab an officer’s gun.  The two were shot and killed at the scene. 

During the chaos of the shootout, five officers were injured. Four of them were shot and one had a knee injury. 

Back at the home where the shooting happened, family members and friends of the couple spent the afternoon boarding up the broken window and removing personal items from the home. 

 

 


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