HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A suspect who led multiple law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase across the Houston area was shot and killed after he fired an assault rifle at officers, according to the Houston Police Department.
HPD Exec. Chief Matt Slinkard said the suspect made multiple phone calls to dispatch during the chase, which started near the Texas Medical Center/OST area about 11 a.m. before coming to an end an hour later in the Greenspoint area.
Police were finally able to corner the suspect in a parking lot after intentionally crashing into his vehicle. Slinkard said the suspect jumped out and immediately started firing an AR-15 rifle at officers.
Slinkard said four officers fired back, including two Precinct 4 deputy constables and two HPD SWAT officers, hitting the suspect an unknown number of times. Paramedics tired to render aid, but the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators said an innocent bystander was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to the leg. It's unclear whether the person was hit with shrapnel or a ricocheted bullet, Slinkard said.
HPD has not confirmed the identity of the suspect, but Slinkard said he is a man in his 40s who was wearing body armor.
The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office is working to confirm whether the suspect is the same gunman in a shooting that happened Monday at the precinct's substation on Holzworth. Investigators said a shooter pulled into the parking lot and fired multiple shots at the substation before riding off.
Chase for possible Precinct 4 station shooting suspect
The Harris County Pct. 4 Constable's Office had been investigating the substation shooting when deputy constables spotted a vehicle Thursday morning matching the suspect's description in the Texas Medical Center/OST area.
Slinkard said the deputies tried to stop the suspect, but the driver refused and kept going.
Slinkard said preliminary information suggests the suspect made multiple calls to Precinct 4 dispatchers while driving, during which he made threatening remarks that led officers to believe he was armed and violent.
"They were on the phone with the dispatcher, this suspect, saying things like 'I have body armor on,' 'this is not going to end well.' At some point, I heard that there was a comment...'I'm going to shoot cops,'" Slinkard said.
The chase, which was reported to have reached speeds of 120 mph, went into the Pasadena area and through downtown Houston before ending in the Greenspoint area. At that point, the Texas Department of Public Safety and HPD had joined Precinct 4 in their pursuit.
At one point, Houston police delayed the start of the Veterans Day parade in case the suspect got near, which he did when he drove downtown.
TIMELINE OF CHASE
11:00 a.m. (estimated) — Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables spot a possible suspect in Monday's substation shooting in the Texas Medical Center/OST area. They try to initiate a traffic stop and a chase ensues.
11:08 a.m. — Air 11 spots officers chasing the suspect on I-610 before heading into Pasadena. The suspect continues to jump on and off the freeway. Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter is now following the chase.
11:24 a.m. — Houston police join the chase as it enters into Downtown Houston. The suspect is spotted on Travis Street before going onto I-45 northbound.
11:35 a.m. — The suspect appears to be on I-45 North near the 610 North Loop.
11:38 a.m. — The suspect is still on I-45 North and is coming up on Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8) after passing West Road in north Houston.
11:40 a.m. — It appears the suspect is in the parking lot of Greenspoint Mall after exiting the freeway at Greens Road. Suspect circles the parking lot multiple times before being cornered by officers.
11:45 a.m. — Reports of multiple shots fired.
11:46 a.m. — Chase ends outside the Goodwill Donation Center in the Greenspoint area. Multiple officers are on the scene.
12:11 p.m. — Houston Police Department confirms the suspect is dead. One individual (later confirmed to be a bystander) is taken to the hospital.