Teen accused in Jacinto City cop shooting charged with assault, failure to attend school

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 5:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 10:34 AM

Shooting suspect captured

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JACINTO CITY, Texas – Charges have been filed against the 17-year-old who allegedly shot two Jacinto City police officers and got into a shootout with SWAT officers before being taken into custody early Thursday.

Edgar Cuellar was charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and one count of failure to attend school.

Officers spent hours trying to talk Cuellar into coming out of his home, but they eventually resorted to using special equipment to bust into a home where he was holed up.

“We can see you. We know that you are in the bathroom,” a negotiator said over the loud speaker. “It can only get worse from here, so you must comply now.”

Cuellar still refused to go down without a fight and when the SWAT team moved in, he began shooting. They returned fire, shooting the teen twice in his legs.

“Our SWAT officers were even talking to him and telling him ‘Hey, we know that you are injured and we can get some paramedics to you’ and at that time, he finally started communicating that he had been hit,” said John Cannon, HPD spokesperson. “That’s the first time throughout the entire ordeal that we had even heard him say or do anything.”

Cuellar was taken to the hospital and was expected to survive.

The original incident happened Wednesday afternoon in the 10400 block of Oswego in east Harris County.

Jacinto City Police Chief Joe Ayala says the officers were responding to a disturbance call for a report of an attempted suicide. Family members were trying to hold Cuellar down until police arrived, but he broke free and allegedly shot both responding officers.

Lieutenant Dennis Walker was shot point-blank in the chest and rushed by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Lt. Walker is a 12-year veteran of the force and has sons in law enforcement. One son works for the DEA and the other is an officer in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The female officer, Sergeant Jennifer Castaneda, was taken to LBJ Hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm. Her husband works for the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

Both officers were expected to make a full recovery.

“They are both exceptional officers. They work very hard and it is just unfortunate of what happened, but they are stable and I look forward to seeing them come back to work soon,” Chief Ayala said.

Chief Ayala said Wednesday’s incident may be connected to another incident a few days ago when Cuellar was walking around the neighborhood firing off a weapon.

Houston Police Department officers and K-9 units assisted in the search. HPD’s SWAT team was also called to the scene.

Residents in the neighborhood were told to stay inside their homes and lock the doors until the suspect was caught.

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