HOUSTON - A Houston police officer was shot in northeast Houston on Tuesday while attempting to stop a robbery, police said.
Officer Jason Rhodes, 32, who was shot in the arm, was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in stable condition. He was released from the hospital late Tuesday afternoon.
With the bullet still in his arm, we're told Rhodes is in good condition and expected to make a full recovery and have full use of his arm.
Houston police Chief Charles McClelland said during a press conference Tuesday that Rhodes saw two people just after noon with their faces covered outside a Family Dollar store. The two appeared to be getting ready to rob the store.
Rhodes chased the men, and during the pursuit, shots were exchanged, the chief said.
"The black man, he fell down after he jumped the gate and he shot the police officer," witness Alexandra Celestine said.
At least one juvenile was arrested at the scene. The suspect was caught hiding in a shed in a resident's back yard near the Family Dollar where the incident began.
A second suspect, Shelton Hearld, 27, was caught by a K-9 unit in a heavily wooded area. He has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2008, court records show. He is also a registered sex offender.
"The ruthless thugs out here that are trying to take property, take things from individuals who work hard and are honest, hard-working people, and they want to take a short cut in our society and take property that belongs to others," " McClelland said. "(Rhodes) did a very good job out there. We're fortunate that he wasn't more seriously injured or possibly killed in this incident. It also highlights the danger that the men and women of HPD face every single day of trying to keep this city safe."
Investigators searched a home on Lera near Van Zandt Street with K-9 officers. Several people were handcuffed outside the home, questioned and released. A stolen vehicle was recovered during the investigation.
Rhodes is a five-year veteran with the Houston Police Department. He's married with a 2-year-old son. He and his wife are expecting a second child.
"We are going to make sure that we take care of Officer Rhodes and his family and make sure that he has a full recovery and offer them all of the support that we can as one of our brothers who have now been injured and the rest of us are going to do our due diligence to make sure that this doesn't happen again," McClelland said.
Hearld, is facing charges of aggravated assault of a public servant and possession of a weapon. His bond has been set at $150,000. Hearld is expected back in court Friday.
The 15-year-old juvenile has been referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation authorities on a charge of misdemeanor evading on foot.