A Houston police officer was killed and another officer was wounded on Tuesday morning when gunfire broke out as they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute at an apartment complex, the authorities said.
Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department said three officers were dispatched around 8:15 a.m. local time to the complex, in Southwest Houston. A woman was moving out of an apartment she shared with a man and wanted to retrieve some of her belongings, but the door was locked, Chief Acevedo said at a news conference.
After speaking with the woman for about an hour, the man’s 14-year-old son unlocked the door to the apartment. He saw that his father was armed and warned the officers, Chief Acevedo said.
“The suspect immediately engaged officers, shooting multiple rounds,” Chief Acevedo said.
Sgt. Harold Preston, a 41-year department veteran, was shot multiple times, including in the head and shoulder, and a bullet was lodged in his spine, Chief Acevedo said. Officer Courtney Waller, 35, who has been with the department for three years, was shot in the arm. The 14-year-old boy was also shot in the arm.
Both officers were taken to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where Sergeant Preston, 65, died from his wounds, surrounded by members of his family, Chief Acevedo said. Officer Waller was expected to recover, the authorities said.
The gunman, whom Chief Acevedo identified as Elmer Manzano, barricaded himself in the apartment for about an hour after the shots were fired before he emerged and was taken into custody, the police said. An older woman also emerged from the apartment, the authorities said.
“We will probably be charging this suspect with murder,” Chief Acevedo said of Mr. Manzano, 51.
At the news conference, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston thanked Sergeant Preston for his service to the department and to the city.
“I want to thank him and want to celebrate his life of service and commitment and dedication to this city — some 41 years that he’s been a police officer with the city of Houston,” Mr. Turner said. “I want us to lift up his family. Specifically I want us to lift up his young daughter. I want us to lift up his mom and his dad and other relatives and friends and loved ones.”
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said, “Our hearts are with the family of Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston who was shot and killed in the line of duty this morning.” He added, “This tragic loss is a grave reminder of the dangers our brave law enforcement officers face while keeping our communities safe.”
The shooting drew a large Police and Fire Department response to the apartment complex, which is south of the hospital where Sergeant Preston died, and east of NRG Park, home of the Houston Texans.
Mr. Manzano, who had a gunshot wound to his abdomen, was also taken to a hospital, the police said. The boy was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital.
“We have to piece together what occurred between the suspect, our officers and also the young man that was shot,” Chief Acevedo said, adding that the boy was expected to make a full recovery.
Chief Acevedo said the police were called twice to the apartment over the weekend. The woman wanted to get her things out of the apartment, “and unfortunately the door was locked and he wasn’t letting her in,” he said. No charges were filed as a result of those visits, he said.
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