'Chaotic scene': Crime spree leads to 1 officer shot, 1 suspect dead, HPD chief says

Officer in stable condition, authorities say

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - A crime spree on Houston's south side Thursday night ended with a police officer being shot, one suspect being killed by another officer, two people taken into custody and a third suspect being sought, authorities said.

What happened? 

The officer was shot in the 3900 block of Tristan Street around 10:35 p.m. The shooting scene was near the intersection of Scott Street and Old Spanish Trail, Acevedo said during a news conference.

Acevedo said the incident started when a man was carjacked at a Valero gas station at 5820 Scott St. around 9:55 p.m. He said the carjacking victim was at the gas station because his SUV was low on gas, when four men approached him at gunpoint and stole his vehicle.

The vehicle ran out of gas a short time later and the four men fled on foot in the 6200 block of Tierwester Street, Acevedo said.

Acevedo said after the suspects ditched the SUV near Meriburr Lane around 10:10 p.m., they assaulted a priest and stole his phone. He said the suspects pulled a gun on the priest and tried to fire twice, but no bullets discharged.

After the assault on the priest, officials said, three of the suspects approached a woman who was sitting in her truck in the 3700 block of Oden Court. The woman said the men ordered her out of her vehicle at gunpoint and stole her phone. The men then drove away from the scene without physically harming the woman. Her truck was later found in good condition.

At about 10:21 p.m., Acevedo said officers spotted the suspects in a nearby shopping center. Acevedo said one suspect was taken into custody about five minutes later.

At about the same time, Acevedo said another suspect was spotted near the intersection of Tristan and Scott streets. When officers arrived at the scene, Acevedo said gunfire was exchanged.

The five-year veteran was struck three times -- twice in the upper body and once in the groin area -- by his own weapon after the suspect got hold of it during the struggle, authorities said.

The suspect who fired at the officer was shot and killed in the exchange of gunfire. Acevedo said he was unsure if one or two officers fired at the suspect.

Two others have been taken into custody and police are actively searching for at least one other person who is believed to be involved in the incident.

How is the officer who was shot?

The 29-year-old officer is a five-year veteran of HPD, and Acevedo said he knows the officer's father, who is a 42-year veteran of the department.

Police said the officer had to be rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery because he was struck near a major artery and doctors were worried about the bleeding. 

Doctors were able to stop the bleeding and repair multiple internal injuries caused by the shooting, authorities said. 

“Our officers on scene, doctors have told us that they did a phenomenal job of starting to treat (the injured officer),” Acevedo said. “We hope that that’s going to be part of the difference here in this situation.”

Officers who were at the hospital visiting told KPRC 2 the injured officer was out of surgery and in stable condition. They also said he was speaking and in good spirits before he went into surgery.

Acevedo said he expects the officer to be hospitalized for at least a week, saying he is "hopeful" that the officer will make a full recovery.

The officer’s identity has not yet been released.

What next? 

Acevedo said HPD's Internal Affairs Division will launch a police-and-procedures investigation, while the department's Special Investigations Unit will conduct a criminal probe. 

The Harris County District Attorney's Office will also conduct an investigation and will likely present the findings of that investigation to a grand jury, Acevedo said.

Acevedo said body-worn camera footage of the shooting is also being reviewed.

Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.