Two Houston police officers shot and killed an African-American man who was armed in the middle of Cullen Boulevard near Idaho Street early Saturday morning on Houston’s southeast side.
Houston Police Department spokeswoman Jodi Silva said the two officers were on routine patrol just before 1 a.m. when they spotted the man, holding a gun.
Silva said when police approached him, the man was pointing the gun straight up in the air. She said they ordered him to drop it. She said a bystander did, too.
"Who is speaking with the suspect, telling him, 'Put the weapon down. Put the weapon down,'" Silva said.
Instead, officers said, the man pointed his gun at them.
"Both officers discharged their duty weapons,” Silva said. “Immediately, we called for aid…however, the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene."
Someone called a woman to the scene who was seen sobbing. She said she was the man's wife.
"I won't see him no more, no more,” she said.
Some residents in the South Park neighborhood where the shooting happened said each day they feel more afraid of the police.
"It's pitiful,” said resident Monica Penrice. “It's crazy out here and I'm terrified especially for my Black men. I have four Black boys I'm raising and I'm terrified."
Resident Bobby Wright became emotional when talking about the recent violence against civilians and police.
"I want to say that the first thing in life is prayer,” he said. “You have to pray to GOD, no matter what color, what race you are because we all bleed the same."
Meanwhile, a couple of streets from the shooting scene, neighbors said the man police killed was in his 40s and has led a troubled life filled with drugs and violence. They said they do not feel his case is one of police brutality.
"No, no, no, I wouldn't say that because he was just that type of person and he was full of that stuff,” said longtime neighbor Joyce Powell.
Neighbor Douglas Benjamin claimed the suspect once brutally attacked him.
"He got mad at me and took a shovel and beat my--and broke my arm,” Benjamin said.
A year ago, the dead man's family saw another case of fatal violence. The man's grandfather was shot and killed in the family's driveway by an unknown gunman. Neighbors said since that happened, the man has walked the neighborhood with his gun, vowing to avenge his grandfather's death. They said sometimes he would ride his horse through the streets with his gun in his waistband.
People in the neighborhood where the police fatally shot the man said regardless of who is responsible for acts of violence and bloodshed, it is time for it to stop.
"A lot of people in my life, they have shed tears and blood for me to be where I'm at,” Bobby Wright said. “So people quit talking about this and that and do something about it!"
The two officers who killed the man were riding double, as they normally do because they are part of the Gang Division, Silva said. One has 13 years of experience and the other has 10.
Silva said both are now on three day’s mandatory leave with pay, which is standard procedure. Silva said the officers must meet with a counselor during that time and they typically meet with their lawyers as well. She said three different investigations are now underway by HPD Homicide, HPD Internal Affairs and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which is also standard procedure.