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Wife of man accused in death of HPD sergeant says officers saved her, her son’s life, attorney says

HOUSTONSgt. Harold Preston, who gave more than 40 years of his life to the Houston Police Department, was shot and killed in the line of duty. Elmer Manzano is accused of pulling the trigger.

He is now facing several charges, including capital murder against a peace officer, attempted capital murder against a peace officer and aggravated assault.

Manzano’s wife, Santos Mejia, says Preston and officer Courtney Waller saved her life. She says if it wasn’t for the officers she and her 14-year-old son would not be alive.

The shooting that left one HPD sergeant dead and injured an officer occurred Tuesday at an apartment complex on the 2600 block of Holly Hall near El Rio.

Officers were met by Mejia and her son, who was seeking assistance. The son was the first to alert the police that Manzano was in possession of a gun.

Police say Manzano opened fired against Preston and Waller. Preston was taken to the hospital, where died from his injuries. While Waller was shot in the arm and is recovering in the hospital.

KPRC 2 spoke to the attorney, Carvana Cloud, who is representing Mejia. She released the following statement on behalf of her client:

“(Mejia) felt so indebted to Sgt. Preston and the other officer that was there to help her. She wanted his family to know very much that she appreciated his service. She made it very clear that if it wasn’t for Sgt. Preston, she wouldn’t be here today and she wanted to encourage all victims of domestic violence to reach out for help.”

Cloud says Mejia is still shaken up and her son is doing okay.