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HPD informant bought heroin at house the night before shootout, warrant says

KHOU 11 News has obtained a copy of the search warrant that allowed Houston police officers to enter a home on Harding Street where all hell broke loose Monday.

HOUSTON — A search warrant obtained by the 11 News Investigates team says a confidential informant working with HPD undercover officers bought heroin at the home where five officers were wounded, and two suspects killed Monday night.

The informant had “provided information and assistance to officers in the past on at least 10 prior occasions,” the warrant says.

The investigation leading up to the drug raid began on Jan. 8 when a woman called 911 and said her daughter was doing heroin at the home of Dennis and Rhogena Tuttle. 

Here’s a breakdown of the search warrant obtained by our KHOU 11 Investigates team:

  • On January 27, the night before the shooting, a confidential informant was given money by an undercover officer for the purpose of buying drugs at the house. The informant was searched in advance to make sure he didn’t already have drugs.
  • The undercover officer watched as the informant went to the house at 7815 Harding Street where a male opened the door.
  • A few minutes later the informant left the house and returned to the undercover officer’s vehicle. He showed him a brown powder substance and said it was purchased as “boy,” which is street slang for heroin.
  • The informant said he saw several other baggies of heroin in the house, along with a semi-automatic 9 mm handgun.
  • The undercover officers asked for a search warrant that gave them the right to enter the house without knocking because they believed, otherwise, they would be in danger since they knew at least one weapon was inside.

When the undercover officers entered the house, Dennis Tuttle opened fire on them, wounding four officers.  He was shot and killed. Rhogena Tuttle was shot to death when she reached for a shotgun dropped by one of the injured officers, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Two officers remain in serious condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.  Another is in good condition after having surgery on the knee he injured during the shootout. Two more officers who were shot are now recovering at home.

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