HOUSTON – Houston police sergeant, 32-year-old Christopher Brewster was killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in east Houston over the weekend. Details surrounding his death have trickled in since then.
What we know
Police say Brewster, a 9-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, was assisting fellow officers Saturday when he spotted a victim and 25-year-old Arturo Solis. When Brewster approached the couple, police say Solis shot him several times. Brewster drew his pistol to protect himself and even after he was shot multiple times, he paged for backup and critical information about the suspect. HPD Chief Art Acevedo said officers, Houston Fire Department medics and paramedics in an ambulance all performed life-saving measures but Brewster succumbed and was pronounced dead soon after.
On Saturday, officials say after shooting Brewster, Solis fled the scene. Equipped with a description of the suspect and his clothing from a mortally-wounded Brewster, Acevedo said authorities set up a perimeter and caught Solis as he was jumping a fence about a block away. Solis was arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with Brewster’s death. Court records show Solis had multiple previous convictions dating as far back as 2014. Solis’ father, Roberto, told KPRC 2 his son battles depression and schizophrenia.
Solis appeared in court Monday and was denied bond. His attorney filed a motion to limit access to Solis in jail while he awaits trial.
In a press conference Saturday night, Acevedo said Brewster was not wearing a bullet-proof vest during the fatal incident. About 1.5 hours after the press conference, Acevedo tweeted a correction to say Brewster was, in fact, wearing a ballistics vest when he was fatally shot and killed.
On Monday, Acevedo announced some rounds fired at Brewster Saturday “potentially penetrated” the ballistics vest he was wearing during the shooting. Acevedo said the department was investigating whether the ammunition that struck Brewster was designed to pierce bullet-proof vests or if there was a fault with the vest itself.
Both Acevedo and the Houston Police Officers’ Union sent letters Tuesday, urging officers to wear a heavier Level III rifle plate vest on top of their Level II soft-body armor for safety until the investigation could be completed. Acevedo told KPRC 2 Tuesday that Brewster’s vest was 3 years old and the typical lifespan of a bulletproof vest used by HPD officers is 5 years.
What we don’t know
Guns and ammunition
Officials are currently working to determine if the ammunition that killed Brewster was designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the type of guns used and if they were legal.
Analysts are examining vests from the same lot as Brewster’s vest to check for potential defects. Acevedo told KPRC 2 the first test Tuesday fulfilled requirements.
Cause of death
As the autopsy report for Brewster has not yet been released, it is unknown how many times the sergeant was shot and which shot was the fatal one.