Harris County flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of fallen Pct. 4 Deputy Kareem Atkins

Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Deputy Karrem Atkins (Image courtesy Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman)

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.

RELATED: Constable Mark Herman reacts to north Houston shooting that killed Harris County Pct. 4 deputy

“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.

RELATED: Fallen Harris County Pct. 4 deputy killed in north Houston shooting honored during procession

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.

View all KPRC 2′s coverage of the case here.


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.