HOUSTON – An investigation is underway after a person was left injured in an officer-involved shooting Thursday in southeast Houston, police said.
The two Houston police officers involved in the shooting are members of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, task force. Houston police chief Art Acevedo said the officers were conducting surveillance from an unmarked pick-up truck in the 8000 block of MLK Boulevard at Bellfort. Acevedo said a man carrying a backpack suddenly walked up to the pick-up and tried to open the door.
Acevedo said the officers gestured for the man to leave and then called for an HPD patrol car to come to the parking lot as back-up.
“They didn’t want to get out of the car at the time,” Acevedo said, citing that the officers didn’t want to blow their cover.
Before the patrol car arrived, Acevedo said the suspect stepped back and took off his backpack. Acevedo said the man then unzipped the backpack, put his hand inside and, while keeping his hand concealed, raised the backpack level with the truck’s windshield while yelling, “I got something for you.”
“The officer, fearing the suspect was actually about to shoot at him........discharged several rounds through the windshield,” Acevedo said.
The suspect was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital and taken into surgery, Acevedo said. His condition is unknown at this time. Acevedo said no weapon was found in the man’s backpack and officers have no idea why he provoked the confrontation.
“We are hopeful that he will survive this incident,” Acevedo said.
Police said they have obtained a video of the shooting, but no officer body camera video is available. Surveillance video from a near-by liquor store obtained by KPRC shows the man first approaching the driver’s side door of the truck before circling around to the passenger side, then moving to the front of the truck. While this camera’s vantage point blocks the shooting, you can see the man taking the backpack off his shoulders and moving it to the front of his body.
Acevedo said this is the fourth officer-involved shooting of 2020.
“This illustrates the environment that we are operating under,” Acevedo said.