HPD: Man shot, killed by uniformed off-duty officer

Police have not found weapon belonging to dead man

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter, Mary Cuervo

HOUSTON - A man was shot and killed after a run-in with an off-duty Houston police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard Thursday night.

Police said Officer J. Castro was patrolling a northwest Houston strip mall on West Little York and Antoine around 9 p.m. Thursday.

According to officials, Castro was driving his personal car around the parking lot when he noticed a man on a bike.  Castro said the man was wearing a hoodie and appeared to be peering into the windows of various businesses.

The officer said the man looked similar to a suspect wanted in recent thefts in the area. Police said he also appeared to be casing the stores, so Castro approached.

The man on the bike pedaled away, but Castro followed in his car and stopped the man.  

At one point the man was lying on the ground so that Castro could detain him until on-duty police arrived.

Then, all of a sudden, the man shoved Castro and ran across a parking lot, police said.

The officer observed that the suspect seemed to be reaching for his waistband possibly for a weapon.

According to HPD Spokesperson Kese Smith, the man was yelling "I'm not going to jail!" as he ran.

Officials said the suspect eventually ran to a dark area behind the strip mall. Again, police said, the man put his hands in his pants as if he had a weapon. He turned toward Castro and charged at the officer.

Fearing for his life, Castro pulled his weapon and fired one time, according to Houston police. The suspect was hit and died at the scene.

Detectives are still trying to determine if the man who was killed had a weapon. At last check, no weapon was recovered.

Smith said the owner of the strip mall actually contacted Houston police recently about hiring uniformed officers because of all of the robberies and break-ins at the shopping center.

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