HOUSTON — A Houston Police officer was shot three times in a shootout with a group of carjacking suspects Thursday night on the southeast side.
The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Scott and Tristan. The 29-year-old officer and 5-year HPD veteran was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he underwent surgery.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says the officer was shot three times in the chest with the bullets hitting underneath his vest. They said he was awake and talking when he left the scene.
Police said one suspect is dead and two more are in custody. They are looking for one more suspect.
Acevedo said the shooting started after a series of violent acts involving four suspects.
The first happened just before 10 p.m. Thursday at a Valero station in the 5800 block of Scott Street. Police said the suspects took a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe at gunpoint.
The driver of the Tahoe was gassing up when he was approached by the carjackers. He advised them that the SUV was on fumes and it was not a good vehicle to take.
The carjackers ignored him and the SUV ran out of gas in the 6200 block of Tierwester. That's where they abandoned the Tahoe.
The suspects made their way to a church parking lot when they encountered a priest on Merribur Lane. Police said the priest told investigators he was on his knees praying the carjackers would not hurt him when he heard them pull the trigger on a gun twice.
However, the gun did not go off, police said. The suspects got frustrated and assaulted and robbed the priest, taking two cell phones from him.
The suspects then continued on their spree and carjacked a woman in an F-150 truck in her driveway.
Three minutes later, officers in unmarked units saw one suspect and gave the location to other units on Tierwester near a Chase bank and H-E-B store. Marked units arrived about a minute later, and a possible third scene involving the suspects occurred nearby on Odin Court.
Officers started chasing the suspects there. Within 1 minute, one suspect was taken into custody.
A short time later that’s when police spotted them in a nearby shopping center running again, including a suspect, who ended up in a struggle with the 29-year-old officer.
Acevedo said that suspect shot the officer before a fellow officer shot back, killing him.
"Thank you for all the continued prayers for our officer. While the investigations continues, we are hopeful as to our officer’s condition," Acevedo tweeted overnight.
At a Friday morning press conference Acevedo said that the remaining suspect needs to turn himself in.
“One thing that we know about this city, is that people care about the safety of their neighbors, they care about the safety of strangers, and safety of their police officers. So, we’re going to get you, so you might as well come out now, and turn yourself in," he said.
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