HOUSTON – Houston police are trying to track down the driver who managed to ditch officers during a potentially dangerous series of events, causing an officer to discharge his duty weapon.
The chaos began Saturday evening in the NRG parking lot in the 8400 block of Kirby Drive.
According to HPD, officers from multiple agencies were working off-duty assignments directing traffic at NRG Park after a college football game.
Police said a red Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat entered the parking lot near gate 12, bypassed an occupied gate booth and parked nearby. A man exited the car, returned to the vehicle and began to do circles (donuts) in the parking lot, which was still filled with patrons.
The driver lost control and struck a parked car, causing damage to the front driver’s side of the Dodge. The suspect then sped toward the exit, nearly striking a Harris County Precinct One Constable deputy. The vehicle exited the parking lot, heading southbound onto Kirby Drive as a Houston Police K-9 unit, also working the event, was traveling northbound.
Noticing the vehicle driving recklessly and at high rate of speed, the K-9 unit turned to follow and activated his emergency equipment in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
The Dodge’s driver continued speeding southbound on Kirby Drive until he became stuck behind traffic. The suspect then crossed over the median and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes toward oncoming traffic, police said.
About two blocks up the roadway, a Tiki Island police officer working traffic at the intersection of Kirby Drive and Westridge Road saw the Dodge heading in his direction toward the traffic jam. The officer was standing in the northbound lanes when the suspect suddenly crossed over the median.
The officer, in fear for his life, fired shots toward the oncoming vehicle, police said.
The suspect continued southbound on Kirby Drive toward the Interstate 610 South Loop and then drove westbound on the 610 Loop service road. The officer was unable to catch up to the Dodge due to the suspect’s high rate of speed and the traffic conditions.
As is customary when a law enforcement officer discharges a weapon in the city limits, the incident is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit.
Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or on the wanted vehicle is urged to contact the HPD Special Investigations Unit at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Last week, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced they had turned a Dodge Hellcat into a police cruiser after confiscating it from a reckless civilian driver.