HOUSTON – The man who is accused of killing a Nassau Bay police officer Tuesday night was last seen Wednesday afternoon in Missouri City and is believed to be headed to Louisiana, officials said.
Tavores Henderson, 21, was last seen Wednesday afternoon accompanied by a man identified only as “Anthony," officials said. The two were seen in a red Buick that had the rear window busted out.
Henderson remained at-large Wednesday night despite a comprehensive search that has lasted nearly 24 hours.
Sunnyside SWAT scene
A Harris County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team found nothing Wednesday morning in the Sunnyside home where the home Henderson was believed to be hiding, officials said in a news conference.
A judge signed a search warrant about 7 a.m. for SWAT teams to enter a home on Shelby Circle and Southview Court where officials believed Henderson was holed up. Officials said the home belongs to Henderson’s mother.
Henderson is wanted on a charge of felony murder in connection with the Tuesday night death of Nassau Bay police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, a 16-year veteran of the Nassau Bay Police Department. Investigators said Sullivan was killed when Henderson, who she was trying to arrest, got away, jumped into a vehicle and ran over her. The vehicle was later found abandoned, police said.
Authorities said they received a tip about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday that Henderson might be hiding in the Sunnyside home. SWAT teams arrived at the home about 8:30 a.m. and found the home empty about a half-hour later.
During the news conference, authorities said Henderson’s mother had been at work all night and did not know if her son was in the house.
“She wasn’t aware if he was inside the house," said Sgt. Dennis Wofford, of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. "We had reason to believe he was possibly armed, so we used an abundance of precaution.”
‘Turn yourself in’
Friends, family and religious leaders in the Sunnyside neighborhood called on Henderson to turn himself in and end peacefully end the manhunt.
“I would tell him, ‘Son, if you’re watching this, turn yourself in,’" said the Rev. James Nash, of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church. "'It would be better for you to sit up in jail than to get killed.'”
The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force ran down leads and searched several locations Wednesday in an effort to locate Henderson.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez acknowledged that even though this is a difficult time for law enforcement, they are determined to bring justice to this situation.
“Again, another grim reminder of the dangerous job of a police officer out there protecting our streets,” Gonzalez said. “We’re going to make sure that we honor her legacy and make sure that we do a good job out here."
Gonzalez urged residents in the area to be careful and notify authorities if they see any suspicious activity.
“We still have an active search,” Gonzalez said. “We ask all residents if they hear anything suspicious about people’s whereabouts, please contact us or Crime Stoppers (at 713-222-TIPS).”
The Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a statewide Blue Alert for Henderson. The usual reward for information of $5,000 has been increased to $20,000 with donations from the U.S. Marshals and the 100 Club.
Community activist Quanell X said Henderson’s family has contacted him and they are working to get Henderson to turn himself in to authorities.