Suspect accused of shooting deputy constable during traffic stop identified

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Vincent Crivelli - Reporter, Brandon Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - A 24-year-old man has been charged with attempted capital murder of a peace officer after authorities said he opened fire on a Precinct 7 deputy constable during an early-morning traffic stop.

Romando Lorenzo Powell is accused of shooting the deputy constable around 12:35 a.m. Wednesday.

The deputy was released from a hospital later Wednesday.

What happened

The shooting happened on Fondren Road near West Orem Drive in southwest Houston.

Assistant Chief Henry Gaw, with the Houston Police Department, said Precinct 7 Deputy Constable Quinton Goodwill was conducting a routine traffic stop when the driver opened fire on him.

"The suspect was backing up in traffic and Deputy Goodwill was approaching the vehicle to get him to stop because he didn't want to cause a hazard to anyone else," said Pamela Greenwood, a spokesperson for Precinct 7 Constable's Office. 

When Goodwill approached the vehicle, the man inside opened fire "before the deputy could even say anything," striking Goodwill possibly twice before fleeing the scene in a silver Honda, Gaw said.

Goodwill retreated for cover and hid behind a nearby METRO bus stop.

A private security guard, who saw the officer attempting to dodge the bullets, called for help.

Authorities said Powell fled the scene.

Authorities quickly searched for the driver and about 30 minutes later encountered Powell, who was driving with his lights off on West Orem near South Post Oak Road. Officials said there were a firearm and body armor in plain view inside the vehicle, which had Florida plates. Powell was then taken into custody.

Constable deputy taken to hospital

Goodwill was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Officials said a bullet struck him in the chest, but thanks to the bulletproof vest he wore, the damage was not critical. Officials said a bullet also struck Goodwill's flashlight.

Gaw said Goodwill is expected to be OK. He was released from the hospital late Wednesday morning.

“The deputy constable was wearing his vest," Gaw said. "I believe that saved his life tonight."

Goodwill is a five-year-veteran of the Harris County Toll Road Authority under Precinct 7 Constable's Office. Investigators said Goodwill did not return fire.

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