HOUSTON - Four different angles, one bold, brazen crime.
A new video obtained by KPRC 2 News shows Harris County Precinct 7 deputy constable Alden Clopton being ambushed and shot Wednesday night in the Third Ward. Investigators are scouring the video for clues to find the gunman.
The shooting happened shortly before midnight after a traffic stop outside the Alabama Store Market on Alabama and Briley. The clear, black-and-white surveillance video shows Clopton and Reserve Deputy Trainee Anne Glasco return to her patrol car after the driver pulls away.
Clopton is seen standing on the passenger's side of Glasco's car with the door open. Officials said he was leaning in to show the trainee how to use the dash camera.
Then an unknown person approached Clopton from behind and fired six times. Clopton sustained four gunshot wounds in his chest and stomach area, despite having on a bullet-proof vest.
"That's cold, cold blooded. I mean no heart, a person who can do something like that, is not a person," David Rivera, a neighbor said.
Officials said Glasco fired once at the shooter. The gunman ran away unharmed.
Moments later in the video, paramedics loaded Clopton onto a stretcher and took him to the hospital where he underwent nearly eight hours of surgery to repair his bullet wounds.
"It's crazy, it happens all the time here in Houston, but bad luck that it happened to one of our neighbors," said Melchor Guzman, a friend and neighbor of Clopton's.
Clopton is recovering in the shock trauma intensive care unit at Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute. He was recently upgraded from critical to serious condition. Clopton's family said he is alert and speaking. He is expected to make a full recovery. Clopton could remain in the hospital for another week.
As Clopton's road to recovery is only just beginning, the search for the person who shot him continues.
Police are still sifting through surveillance video from every angle possible, hoping perhaps to find any clues in this case.
Police said no arrests have been made in the shooting, but they are following several leads. A man who matched the description of the shooter who showed up at a fire station in Midtown shortly after the shooting was detained and questioned.
Police on Friday said that person is not connected to the shooting in any way and has been released. He will face a possession of a weapon.
Crime Stoppers of Houston Fallen Hero Project has increased the reward to $10,000 for any information leading to charging or arrest of the gunman.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477), submit tips online at online at www.crime-stoppers.org, or text tips by sending TIP610 plus the information to CRIMES . All tipsters may remain anonymous.
Clopton's son, Todre, who is a police officer in Biloxi, Mississippi, thanked Precinct 7 and doctors at Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute. He said support for his father was coming from all over the world.
No one else was injured in the shooting.
Clopton, a field training officer, comes from a family of law enforcement officials and has been with Precinct 7 for 11 years, Lt. Holland Jones said in a press conference Thursday. His wife is a deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, and they have five children.
Clopton also has three brothers with law enforcement backgrounds: One brother works at Precinct 7 with Alden Clopton; another is an officer with the Houston Police Department; and a third brother is a former Harris County homicide investigator.
Residents in the area said they heard the gunshots.
"I stayed inside because I don't want to go out because it's getting dangerous and dangerous every night," nearby resident Theodore Cross said.
Another resident, Darrone Gray, said, "There's gunshots every night over here. It's that kind of neighborhood around here. It's a bad neighborhood."
"Immediately my heart dropped. I mean, you think things happen. But you are just not in a position to feel like it would be that close to you," Clopton's neighbor Shavara Lyons said. "My heart dropped and I started praying immediately. My heart is dropping. I'm praying and I'm just immediately thinking the best, that everything is going to work out and everything is going to be fine and his family is going to be taken care of at this time and just ask God to give him strength."
Houston police are investigating the motive for the attack.
Many viewers took to social media offering Clopton prayers and well wishes.
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