Officer-involved shooting at PlazAmericas investigated

Incident began when 2 men were spotted robbing jewelry store, police say

By Brandon Walker - Reporter, Brooke Williamson - Producer

HOUSTON - An off-duty officer was involved in a shooting while working an extra job at the PlazAmericas in the 7500 block of Bellaire Boulevard, police said.

"The officer happened to be in the area at the time and managed to ward off a robbery," said Victor Senties, a spokesman for the Houston Police Department.

The incident started when two men were spotted robbing a jewelry store around 5:15 p.m., Houston police said. The officer was making his rounds and saw the them, one carrying a hammer and one with a pistol.

"He confronts the suspects. The second suspect pulled out a pistol and fired a shot at the officer. The officer returned fire," Senties said.

Witnesses described hearing at least 10 gunshots.

"I came out here and saw one of the police officers running in the [parking lot] with his gun drawn," said Oliver O'Conner, a security guard at the jewelry store next door, Johnny Dang & Co.

The two men ran to a dark-colored Nissan, police said, in which a third man had been waiting in the driver's seat. Two of them were taken into custody at a nearby apartment complex, police said. The third man is is still on the loose and is believed to have escaped in the Nissan.

Edison Ibeabuchi, 20, and Jeremiah Riley, 17, are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Investigators said it was unclear whether the third suspect was struck during the crossfire.

Employees who were inside the store during the robbery were not hurt, police said.

"There is damage to the jewelry store cases inside," Senties said, when describing the hammer used to break glass cases used to store jewelry. "It doesn't appear that they got away with anything," he continued.

Investigators told KPRC2 they were still processing the crime scene as of 9 p.m. Saturday. It was unclear whether officers recovered the pistol allegedly used to fire at the officer. They did recover the hammer, Senties said.

The officer has been with the Houston Police Department for one year, Senties said, and was not hurt during the shooting. He will be placed on three-day administrative duty, per policy.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the wanted suspect is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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