HOUSTON – Medical examiners identified Michael Wayne Jackson as the man who Houston police say was hit and killed by an officer who was in pursuit of teens suspected in an armed carjacking.
His wife of 19 years, Janice Jackson, mourns his loss.
“It’s like a nightmare. It’s like a nightmare,” Jackson said. “I just want it to be over.”
Janice said the two were best friends and they adopted a daughter together. She said her husband would do any and everything possible to put a smile on both their faces, even mimicking animals.
“I said, ‘boy you sound just like that horse, you know, quack, quack.’ He’s really funny,” Janice said. “That’s what I’m going to miss, the humor of him.”
The 62-year-old was a trained mechanic but was a jack of all trades. His family said he could be heard serenading his wife, the Commodores’ ‘Lady’ to her. He was an avid writer, who wrote poetry.
“[He would] call me every day on his lunch break say, ‘hey sunshine,’ Jackson reminisces. “He’s going to make me laugh every day. I’d say, ‘Boy, you’re something else.’”
Jackson said her husband was walking on Scott Street because he was working on his truck. She offered to drive him to get a haircut on Saturday morning, but instead, he took the bus. This was the couple’s last conversation.
“This is a tragic night,” said Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite on the night of the incident.
Authorities say the entire situation began when a woman called to report that her truck had been stolen after she was held at gunpoint in the 3313 block of Tangerine Street. Officers responded moments later, however, the five suspects had already fled in the stolen vehicle.
Police were able to quickly locate the stolen vehicle with the help of the car dealership. When officers pulled behind the stolen car, the driver sped off, initiating the chase.
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Additional HPD officers who heard the call attempted to offer backup in the pursuit, turning on their lights and sirens.
Moments later, police say an officer involved in the chase lost control of his unit, fatally hitting Michael on the sidewalk.
Houston police protocol shows officers in a chase must, “constantly assess the need to immediately apprehend the suspect versus the risk of injuring themselves, the public, or the suspect.”
“Due caution is always what we have to exercise,” said Satterwhite. “Bear in mind, these were aggravated robbery suspects. That was the call. That’s the information that we have. It’s a very dangerous situation, very volatile.”
The department’s general orders state officers must continually evaluate road conditions, population density, vehicular and pedestrian traffic, among others.
The district attorney’s office is investigating the incident and will share evidence with a grand jury that will decide if charges should be filed against the officer.
“We’ve got a number of surveillance footage cameras that we have to look at,” said Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare. “We have to forensically download the car and determine exactly what speeds we’re talking about at which different portions of travel that we’re talking about.”
The Jackson family is now planning Michael’s funeral.
“Ima miss him. Ima miss him, dearly,” said Janice.