Houston police officer, innocent bystander shot, killed in parking lot
Police: Bellaire police officer gunned down by suspect while in pursuit
A Bellaire police officer and an innocent bystander were shot and killed by a suspect in a southwest Houston parking lot Monday, officials said.
Investigators said the Bellaire officer was chasing a suspect when they drove into the parking lot of a Maaco body shop at 5611 Bellaire Blvd. at Alder at 8:55 a.m. Witnesses said the suspect got out of his vehicle and began firing shots.
"The guy stands up out the car and just starts shooting. The gunshots continued even as I ran off. After the first 10, I was thinking, 'What kind of gun does this guy have?'" witness Stephanie Pacheco said.
The officer was hit, police said, and the suspect continued shooting. A man who walked out of the auto shop was then shot at close range. He died at the scene. He was an employee of the shop.
The officer was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he died a short time later. He did not exchange gunfire with the suspect as originally thought, HPD said.
"The saddest thing is that the officer who is deceased didn't even get an opportunity to pull his weapon and defend himself. That's how fast it all happened," said John Cannon with the Houston Police Department.
Houston police said the suspect fired at responding officers, who then opened fire on him. He was wounded and ran off, but was found behind a nearby business. Investigators said a gun was recovered from the scene.
The suspect was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical but stable condition. Doctors said he is expected to survive. Charges are pending.
No other officers were wounded.
Bellaire police said the chase started when the suspect would not pull over during a traffic stop. During the chase, the suspect clipped a white pickup truck before driving into the body shop's parking lot.
The names of the officer, innocent bystander and suspect have not yet been released.
The officer was a 20-year veteran of the Bellaire Police Department.