Neighbors say officers saved them from burglary suspects

The officers shot trying to arrest burglary suspects likely saved a woman's life, according to the son of one victim.

HOUSTON - The officers shot trying to arrest burglary suspects likely saved a woman’s life, according to the son of one victim.

In the Glenshire neighborhood, 24-hour armed patrols circled homeowners while police investigated the area burglaries that triggered a gun fight Tuesday afternoon.

“(I’m) obviously a little scared,” said Chris Cooper, a burglary victim. “(I’m) a little shaken up.”

More: HPD: $20K reward for suspect after 2 officers shot

Two burglars hit Cooper’s home first. The suspects scaled his fence, kicked open the back door then ransacked Cooper’s home.

“All the drawers are everywhere, clothes are everywhere,” he said.

The burglars left empty-handed. However, a 30-year-old woman saw them leaving and chased them away.

“My gratitude goes out to all the people who were there, all the officer who were there,” said Christian Constantino, another victim.

His mom was home alone when the same burglars targeted them.  They only got to the shed though, thanks to their neighbor Officer Ronny Cortez, Officer Jose Munoz and their partners with HPD’s tactical unit.

“Those guys are great to the neighborhood,” said Arthur Chatman, Jr., owner of Armed Security On Bikes which patrols the neighborhood.  “They come through. They take their breaks here.”

Ground photos: Manhunt continues after 2 HPD officers shot

This time neighbors saw Cortez roam yard to yard looking for burglars. He told neighbors the suspects targeted homes around noon.

When Cortez’s unit found their suspects, neighbors heard gunfire. Jeff Willis watched through gaps in his fence.

“It looked like they were using the shed for cover and reaching around the corner to shoot each other and then I saw a man go down,” he said.  “That’s when I knew for sure we had a gunfight going on and I called 911.”

Willis and others later learned that Cortez and Munoz went down wounded. They went to separate hospitals.  Both are recovering, though Cortez is in critical condition.

Officers killed one suspect. The other got away. So some people in the neighborhood went to bed worried.
Others went to sleep with weapons nearby.

“I have plenty of protection that’s still by the bed,” Cooper said. “So I will sleep like a baby.”

He and his neighbors are also hoping Cortez and Munoz get well and come home soon.

“Really, the only thing I’m thinking about is that Ronny makes it through cause everything else doesn’t matter right now,” Willis said. “Ronny’s gotta pull through.”

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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