Officials: Suspect was hiding in closet before deputy fatally shot him

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on October 18, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 2:37 PM

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- A deputy with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office opened fire on an unarmed suspect who was hiding in a bedroom closet, officials said.

It happened around 9 p.m. at his ex-girlfriend's home in the 17000 block of Analisa Circle in northwest Harris County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said they were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for aggravated assault on Gerritt Perkins, 37. He was accused of pulling a knife on the ex-girlfriend back in September.

“Deputies received information that the suspect was in the residence,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Christina Garza. “When they arrived at the house, the suspect’s ex-girlfriend allowed deputies inside the home. We had three deputies go inside the home, and they did an initial search of the home looking for that suspect.”

One of the deputies eventually found Perkins hiding in a downstairs bedroom closet, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The deputy instructed the suspect, on numerous times, to show his hands,” said Garza. “The suspect suddenly makes a movement toward our deputy. Our deputy, in fear for his life, shoots his weapon once.”

The deputy said just prior to opening fire he thought he saw something shiny. Investigators later determined Perkins was unarmed, and the shiny object turned out to be a cell phone.

The suspect was sent to the hospital where he later died.

According to neighbors, Perkins had a history of violence and a judge previously ordered him to stay away from the house where he was located by deputies.

“Apparently he came back twice before that,” said neighbor John Salazer. “We advised her [the girlfriend] to stay away from the guy because he’s bad. You know, not a good relationship at all.”

Perkins was given deferred adjudication on an aggravated assault charge after strangling his ex-girlfriend last December.

As is sheriff’s office policy, the deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on paid leave during the investigation. He’s been on the force for 10 years, according to the sheriff’s office.

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