ATASCOCITA, Texas -- An off-duty Houston police officer shot a bank robbery suspect to death Friday afternoon in Atascocita, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
He and another officer just happened to stop by the Regions Bank at 7044 FM 1960 East around 2 p.m.
They were shocked to find three suspects armed with pistols and a shotgun fleeing the bank with a bag of money.
The gunmen ran past the HPD officers and jumped into an SUV. When one suspect pointed the shotgun at the cops, Officer A. Steelman fired several shots into the vehicle.
The SUV then crashed into another business in the same strip mall as the bank. Two suspects took off on foot before being taken into custody by deputies in a nearby parking lot.
The third suspect was found dead inside the SUV.
Witnesses said some bank employees were roughed up by the robbers before the officers arrived.
"I was told that they beat up the bank tellers," said Jamie Farber.
Officer Steelman has been with the police department since February 1985 and is assigned to the Tactical Division/Marine Unit.
Following the shooting, Steelman was assigned to three days of administrative duty, which is standard for the department.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit will investigate the shooting and the robbery will be investigated by the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force.
We'll have more on this developing story on KHOU 11 News at 5.