Houston police are investigating the fatal shooting of an armed suspect at 7931 Southwest Freeway (U.S. Highway 59 South) service road about 11:35 p.m. on Wednesday (March 3).
The identity of the male is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The officer who discharged his weapon, E. Garza, was not injured. Officer Garza, assigned to the Westside Patrol Division, was sworn in as an officer in July 2006.
HPD Special Investigations Unit Sergeant P. Buttitta, Senior Police Officers J. Moreno, N. Arrellano, J. Hartnett and R. Anderson and Officer B. Bertrand and C. Walker reported:
Members of the HPD Midwest Patrol Division Crime Suppression Team (CST) were conducting a follow-up investigation involving several aggravated robberies occurring in the area. CST members began to follow a black Mercedes Benz, which was a known suspect vehicle for these incidents. In an attempt to identify the suspect, CST members then initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Consequently, the vehicle began to actively evade officers. After a short pursuit, the suspect lost control of the vehicle, crashed and it became disabled at a gas station at the above address.
The suspect then exited his vehicle, with a pistol in his hand, and attempted to carjack a nearby citizen by forcing his way into the driver’s seat of the citizen’s vehicle. Officers surrounded the vehicle and began to give verbal commands to the suspect to drop the pistol and show his hands. The suspect failed to obey the commands of officers. Fearing for the safety of the citizen and her one-year-old child, who were both still in the vehicle, one officer discharged his weapon more than one time, striking the suspect. Officers rendered first aid, however, responding paramedics pronounced the suspect deceased.
The child, in the back seat of the vehicle, sustained a wound to the head. First aid was immediately provided to the child and he was transported to a hospital in stable condition.
As is customary in officer-involved shooting incidents in the city limits, the case is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.