Pawn shop burglar fires at officers with semi-automatic pistol during shootout, police say

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Vincent Crivelli - Reporter

HOUSTON - Shots rang out overnight in north Houston after police caught a man trying to break into a local pawn shop.

Authorities said the incident happened around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday at a Cash America Pawn near Airline Drive and Tidwell Road.

The burglary alarm went off at the shop, and when police arrived two minutes later, they saw a light and movement coming from inside.

Officer R. Martin, one of the responding officers, said he saw a hand emerge from a hole the man had cut into the back of the building to get in.

Martin said he told the man to show his hand, but instead, the man stuck a semi-automatic pistol through the hole and started shooting at Martin, who returned fire.

Officers later identified the man as Carlos Caseres-Martinez, 20. 

The gun battle continued and Officer C. Eskridge saw the man flee down East Rogers Street and hide under a nearby pickup truck.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said Caseres-Martinez continued to shoot from under the vehicle. Eskridge and Martin dodged the shots and returned fire, hitting the man.

“The suspect ... fired quite a few rounds from a semi-automatic pistol,” Acevedo said. “Neither officer was hurt and the suspect himself was fortunate he did not lose his life in this exchange of gunfire.”

According to authorities, Caseres-Martinez was taken into custody and transported to Ben Taub hospital to be treated. He is expected to survive.

He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and one count of burglary of a building, according to court records. 

Special investigations and internal affairs will be looking into the shooting. Acevedo said the officers had their body cameras on during the gun battle.

Eskridge and Martin were sworn in January 2016 and December 2014 respectively and were not injured during the shootout.

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