Suspect accused of killing HPD Sgt. Preston booked in jail wearing sergeant’s handcuffs

HOUSTON – The man charged with killing a Houston police sergeant was booked into jail -- wearing that sergeant’s own handcuffs.

The Houston Police Officer’s Union tweeted Monday afternoon that Manzano was booked into Harris County Jail while wearing Sgt. Harold Preston’s handcuffs.

It took nearly a week for the booking to take place because 51-year-old Elmer Manzano was in the hospital after he was shot in the abdomen during a gunfire exchange with Preston.

Manzano didn’t appear in court because he was still in the hospital. Court documents revealed that Manzano claims he fired at officers after they shot at him.

According to documents read during the court hearing overnight, Manzano’s wife, who was with her 14-year-old son, told police she was having problems with her estranged husband, was afraid of him and wanted to leave him.

He is accused of shooting and killed HPD Sgt. Preston and injuring officer Courtney Waller after they responded to the wife’s domestic disturbance call at Holly Hall Road. Waller remains hospitalized in stable condition.

He was interviewed at the hospital and told investigators, “He stated that he knew the police officers were out there and when he answered the door he claimed the police officers shot at him so he fired back at them.”

Manzano also had two previous convictions for assaulting a family member out of Dallas County. He has no bond for capital murder and aggravated assault charges. A $500,000 bond was issued for an attempted capital murder charge.

A visitation for Sgt. Preston will take place Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Texas Southern University, Granville Sawyer Auditorium, 3100 Cleburne Street. Sgt. Preston’s family has advised the public is welcome.

The funeral service will take place Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. at Grace Church Houston, 14505 Gulf Freeway. Due to COVID-19 protocols, HPD is asking that the funeral service be reserved for family, friends, HPD staff and those who knew Sgt. Preston.

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