Heroin sold, weapons seen at house where police shootout occurred, warrant claims

HOUSTON – The search warrant and affidavit behind the shootout that left five HPD officers injured and two suspects dead was released on Wednesday and revealed new details about why HPD targeted the house on Harding Street.

The investigation lasted about two weeks after "previously received information that" a man at the house "was selling narcotics," the affidavit says. HPD Chief Art Acevedo said the investigation began after a tip from a neighbor.

The affidavit says on Sunday, the day before the shootout, an unidentified officer met "at a pre-determined location" with a "confidential informant" who "has proven to be credible and reliable on many prior occasions," helping officers make arrests and seize narcotics.


The officer told the informant "narcotics were being bought and stored" at 7815 Harding St. "The confidential informant was provided" cash by the unidentified officer "for the purpose of buying narcotics from any individuals" at the house, the affidavit says.

The officer watched the informant walk up to the house, where he was met by a man. After several minutes, the informant returned to the officer with "a quantity of brown substance" the officer identified as heroin.

The informant told the officer that "a large quantity of plastic baggies" of the substance was in the house, along with a handgun, the affidavit says. Afterwards, undercover narcotics officers continued to watch the house.

The search warrant gave HPD the authority "to dispense with the usual requirement that you knock and announce your purpose before entering" the suspected drug house.

Acevedo said later that when the team of undercover officers entered the home Monday afternoon, they were met by an aggressive dog, which was shot by one officer.

Acevedo said Dennis Tuttle walked out of a back room in the home and used a .357 revolver to shoot at the officers. Acevedo said that as the first wounded officer fell on a living room couch, Tuttle's wife, Rhogena Nicholas tried to grab the officer's weapon.

Officers returned fire, killing both Tuttle and Nicholas, Acevedo said. Five HPD officers were left injured, four of whom had been shot.

Monday night, officers searched the suspected drug house and found marijuana, an unidentified white, powdery substance, several shotguns and a rifle, the chief said. No heroin was found.

Take a look at the warrant in the photos below:


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