HOUSTON—A suspect was shot and killed by an officer with the Houston Police Department late Thursday.
The shooting occurred at a shopping center on W. Little York Road near Antoine Drive around 9 p.m., according to HPD spokesman Kese Smith.
Smith said Officer J. Castro was working security when he saw a young man looking in the windows of Little Caesars pizza and the cell phone store next door.
He fit the description of some robbers who have been targeting the area.
"The description that we have of the robbers in this area in the last month are black males wearing hoodies who then go into small businesses and rob the establishments and the customers that are inside," Smith said.
The officer believed the man was casing the business so he approached the suspect, who then got back on his bike and started riding away.
Castro got in his personal vehicle and stopped the suspect, police said. As he was being detained, police said the suspect shoved the officer and ran across the parking lot to get away. The officer chased the suspect behind the building.
Castro said the suspect stopped and put his hands in his pants as if he were grabbing at something. He then charged at the officer, yelling "I’m not going back to jail!"
"He rounds that corner—it’s dark—turns toward the officer and crouches down, puts his hands in his waistband, and charges at the officer stating that he was not going back to jail," said Smith.
HPD said the officer feared for his life and opened fire, shooting and killing the suspect.
HPD said the owner of the shopping center recently hired officers to work security due to break-ins at the businesses. Little Caesars has been robbed four times and nearby businesses have also been targeted.
"They pull the mask and then they run in right away," said Kim Tran whose dry cleaning business has been in the strip center for 20 years."I just scared. Very scared."
Police would not immediately say if the suspect was armed. His name has not been released.