HOUSTON – The Houston Fire Department is mourning one of their own who was killed in the line of duty.
A procession was from the Medical Center to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office was held Friday morning for HFD Arson Investigator Lemuel Bruce. HFD Fire Chief Sam Pena said that the 44-year-old was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect while investigating a string of arsons in northwest Houston.
“It’s a tragic loss. A young individual. 44 years old in the prime of his life just conducting basic arson investigation and its senseless,” said Pena. “In the history of the Houston Fire Department, we have never had an investigator shot in the line of duty.”
Pena said that Bruce was with the department for 17 years. Bruce was a husband and father to a 12-year-old girl and an 8-year-old son.
“They are hurting right now. The department is hurting and I want to give my condolences to them I want to ask the community to please keep the fire department and Bruce family in your prayers,” Pena said.
“Almost half of his life was committed to the city of Houston,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, “This is a tough day for the family. For Houston fire department and police department. But if we pray and uplift each other we will take it one day at a time.”
The family of Bruce released the following statement:
“We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the HFD Family, the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, and the public. We are mourning the tragic, untimely passing of our husband, father, son, firefighter and fire investigator, former Marine crew chief, and friend. As we begin to reflect on his life and what he meant to all of us, please know that he was forever dedicated to his family and to his profession. We appreciate your respect of our privacy for now. Thanks again for your support.”
Funeral services will be announced as soon as possible