HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – At the request of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Governor Greg Abbott today permitted Texas flags in Harris County to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the life and public service of Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Deputy Kareem Atkins, who was shot and killed Saturday in an ambush outside a north Houston bar.
Abbott said flags may remain at half-staff until the end of the day of Atkins’s final interment,
Individuals, businesses, municipalities, counties and other entities in the area may fly flags at half-staff for the same period as a sign of honor and respect.
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“The First Lady and I extend our prayers of comfort to the Atkins family during their time of grief, and we urge all Texans to remember and honor Deputy Constable Atkins’s public service as a dedicated law enforcement officer,” Abbott wrote in a letter addressed to Judge Hidlago.
Atkins and fellow Precinct 4 deputies Juqaim Barthen and Darrell Garret were working an extra shift at 45 Norte Bar and Lounge early Saturday when the shooting occurred. At about 2:12 a.m. Atkins and Garrett responded to a report of a robbery outside the bar. As they were attempting to arrest a robbery suspect, a man with an AR-15 rifle ambushed the pair, striking both deputies. Upon hearing the gunshots, Barthen rushed outside to aid his fellow deputies and was also shot, the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office said.
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Atkins died from his injuries, authorities said. He was 30 years old. He had recently returned from paternity leave. He leaves behind a wife and two-month-old child.
Atkins joined the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office in January 2019.
The case remains under investigation by the Houston Police Department. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to report it to the HPD Homicide Division at (713) 308-3600 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at (713) 222-TIPS.