HPD releases bodycam video of officer fatally shooting an ‘aggressive panhandler’

bodycam video of OIS (Harris County Sherriff's Office)

HOUSTON – Houston police released surveillance video of a deadly officer-involved shooting where a suspected panhandler was killed back in October.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, officers said a woman was driving her vehicle in the 7700 block of Long Point when a man hit her vehicle with a flagpole and cracked her windshield.

When the officer, identified as Garcia, arrived and located the suspect, investigators said he confronted him and attempted to detain him. That is when the suspect allegedly got aggressive and pulled out a knife and walked toward the officer.

Officer Garcia said he drew his duty weapon and increased his distance from the suspect, then gave him verbal demands to drop the knife.

In the video, the suspect, who is allegedly still holding the knife, walked southbound on Wirt Road and grabbed the large metal flagpole as he walked on the sidewalk. Officer Garcia followed the suspect and, as he allegedly called for backup, gave the suspect verbal commands to stop and drop the weapons.

The video then shows the suspect turning to face Officer Garcia and walking toward him. Fearing for his safety, investigators said Officer Garcia discharged his duty weapon at least one time, striking the suspect.

Responding officers provided first aid to the suspect until Houston Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene and pronounced the suspect deceased.

As is customary in HPD officer-involved shooting incidents, this case is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

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