HPD officer officially terminated after admitting to shooting wife in face with rifle

HOUSTON – A Houston police officer who admitted to shooting his wife in the face with a rifle has officially been terminated from his job.

Earlier this week, 31-year-old Galib Waheed Chowdhury appeared before a Harris County judge in probable cause court, where details were shared appearing to claim the victim was accidentally shot during an attempted break-in.

Chowdhury was charged with aggravated assault of a family member with serious bodily injury. A judge set his bond at $125,000.

Chowdhury, who was with HPD’s Northwest Houston Division, has been with the department for two years and has no prior convictions.

According to police, on Monday, HPD and emergency officials with the Houston Fire Department responded to reports of the shooting at the Westerly Apartments located in the 10300 block of Clay Road at around 12:45 a.m.

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They arrived to find Chowdhury’s 30-year-old wife, identified as Sadaf S. Iqbal, suffering from gunshot wounds to the face and hand.

Iqbal was transported to a nearby trauma center in stable condition and underwent surgery. Her family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the unexpected expenses.

Chowdhury told investigators the shooting was accidental.

According to investigators, Chowdhury called 911 and said someone was breaking into his apartment. He told officers he and his wife had been home for about 30 minutes and were having a conversation when he heard a “loud boom.”

He then told investigators he was attempting to fire at intruders when his wife accidentally got in the way.

Investigators did not feel his story was adding up and he was subsequently charged.

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Chowdhury did not provide a description of the alleged suspect or say where the person went, and officers did not find any damage to the front door of the home, investigators said. Inside the living room, police reportedly found a pile of clothing with hangers still attached and a piece of luggage.

Text messages Chowdhury allegedly sent to his wife before the shooting were shared during court.

Prosecutors said he appeared upset and told her to pick up the phone. He called her a “b----” and wanted to know where she was.

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Chowdhury’s wife wasn’t willing to give a statement to police but told medical staff the shooting wasn’t intentional.

“The officers attempted to gather the complainant’s statement before going into surgery; however, she was not willing to provide a statement once she heard the officers were with the Houston Police Department,” a clerk read aloud. “The complainant stated to medical staff that her husband, the defendant, shot at her but that it was an accident.”

Investigators appear to believe it could be a possible case of domestic violence. HPD Chief Troy Finner also addressed the subject during a press conference on Monday.

“It’s never easy to stand before you. Domestic violence is very serious in our community and also around the nation, and we stand here at HPD to do everything that we can to prevent that,” Finner said. “Once you put that patch on and that badge on, you’re a police officer, and I expect you to conduct yourself at all times as a police officer. I’m very troubled on some things that we know now.”

Chowdhury was released Tuesday after posting bond.


About the Authors:

Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.