HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Houston Police Chief Troy Finner Thursday to release bodycam videos worn by officers during a deadly officer-involved shooting in May.
Turner said making bodycam videos public is one of the city’s efforts in police reform and having the Houston Police Department become more transparent following officer-involved shootings.
WATCH: Bodycam footage of May’s deadly officer-involved shooting
“We are keeping our word about our new policy and goal to release vides as quickly as the department can. I’m not here to put my opinion out, I just want the citizens to see this,” Finner said.
On May 21, officers pulled a man and woman over on Bissonnet and the Southwest Freeway for speeding. Police said the couple told officers that they were fleeing because a vehicle was shooting at another vehicle and was in fear of their life. As officers were talking to the couple, police said a man in his 20s, identified as Zaekown Gullate parked at a Shell gas station in the 9400 Bissonnet waited. Police said Gullate then walked over to officers where officers asked him if he knew the couple and words were exchanged.
Finner said Gullate kept saying “Just shoot me” and when the police officer asked him why would he say that -- he then reached into his pants and pulled out a gun. Police said officers commanded Gullate to drop the weapon but the suspect fired at least one time and three officers fired back at Gullate. Finner said a firearm was recovered next to Gullate.
“On this particular incident, this suspect did point and fire upon our officers before they fired upon him,” Chief Finner said.
Gullate was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“When there’s an officer-involved shooting it’s so tragic for everybody involved regardless of what happened so look at it objectively and make sure that we have healing in all communities and make sure that people come to the truth,” Finner said.
No officers were injured during the shooting.
Police said Gullate’s car matches the description of the car involved in the road rage incident, which was described as a small black sedan.
The investigation is still ongoing and in the early phases.