A Texas police officer is dead and two others were injured after a shooting overnight that officials described as an apparent ambush.
The incident occurred around 2:15 a.m. Saturday while three Harris County deputies were working “police-related extra jobs” at a Houston bar and lounge. The officers were checking on a disturbance outside the venue and attempting to detain a suspect when investigators believe that another person with a rifle fired on the officers.
“We believe they were ambushed, shot from behind,” James Jones, executive assistant chief of the Houston Police Department, said during an early morning news conference.
One deputy died at the scene. A second deputy was shot in the back and was undergoing surgery on Saturday morning. The third deputy was shot in the foot and was expected to undergo surgery, too.
Authorities detained someone at the scene, but it remains unclear whether that person is a suspect or witness.
Authorities were searching for the person believed to be the shooter, who was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s who was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, Jones told reporters at the press conference. He reportedly was heavy-set and had a beard.
“I just left Hermann Hospital where I sat in a room with one of my dead deputies who was ambushed by a coward,” Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said at the news conference.
“I’m asking for all our community’s thoughts and prayers for their families.”
He added: “It’s probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my career. I’ve got a dad there, I’ve got a wife there and they’ve got a deceased son and husband.”
Raw video from the scene showed a massive law enforcement presence, with numerous police vehicles filling the streets.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the shooting for National Police Weekend, where the names of seven Houston officers who died in the line of duty since 2019 will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial’s Wall of Honor.
“My main concern is the families of the three officers involved,” Herman said. “I hope for swift and quick justice for that individual because he ambushed my deputies.”
People who live and work near the scene told ABC 13 that the shooting was traumatic.
“When I heard about this one, I actually got on my knees and started praying because this has happened again,” an unidentified woman told the television station. “To know this happened near my school, it’s devastating.”
The identities of the deputies who were shot have not yet been released.
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]