SOUTH HOUSTON—A police officer shot a man in the parking lot of a funeral home Friday as a service was under way, South Houston police said.
The shooting happened at about 4:30 p.m. at the South Houston Funeral Home in the 1500 block of Houston Boulevard, police said.
That is where a viewing was taking place for a vehicle burglary suspect who was shot and killed last Sunday in the 10900 block of Gulf Valley.
According to witnesses, Jerome Barrera Jr. wanted to place a 16 ounce can of beer in the casket with the victim. The family became upset and asked him to leave.
That’s when a disturbance broke out in the front parking lot of the funeral home. As officers approached the crowd a witness warned them that Barrera Jr. was brandishing a gun, police said.
Police said the officers told Barrera Jr., to drop his weapon, but he refused. As the 25-year-old man turned toward the officers with a gun in hand, one officer opened fire, striking him in the chest area. Police said Barrera fired a shot but didn’t hit anyone.
Barrera was transported to Memorial Herman Southeast Hospital. He was in stable condition, officials said.
“Having a gun at a funeral is probably not a good idea, but you know there are people that are allowed to carry handguns in certain areas, and we don’t know whether this person has a license or not, those are things we’re going to have to check out,” said South Houston Chief Herbert Gilbert.
The officer who fired the shot is Sgt. Enrique Guzman IV, a 6-year veteran of the South Houston Police Department. He has been assigned to desk duty while the investigation is ongoing.