HOUSTON (Gray News) – Several Houston Police Department Officers were shot Monday afternoon in Houston, TX.
At an evening press conference, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that four of the officers were shot, and a fifth sustained a non-gunfire knee injury during the gun battle.
Two of those officers are in critical but stable condition and are undergoing surgery. They were both struck in the neck, according to Acevedo.
Authorities had initially reported that five officers were shot.
Houston Police tweeted late Monday night that one of the injured officers, who was shot in the shoulder, had been released from the hospital.
The officers were fired on when entering a house where they were serving a search warrant as part of a narcotics investigation. The officers returned fire, and police later confirmed two suspects were killed.
Acevedo described the officers injured as two 50-year-old sergeants, a 33-year-old officer, a 40-year old officer and another 54-year-old senior police officer, whom he said was the case agent in the narcotics investigation. The 54-year-old has previously been shot in the line of duty.
Joe Gamaldi, the president of the Houston Police Officers' Union, said that the “outpouring of support has been amazing” and condemned what he described as anti-police rhetoric.
“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re doing is trying to protect this community and protect our families,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
The shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m. CT in southeastern Houston, according to Acevedo. There were about a dozen officers from a narcotics team and a half dozen patrol officers involved in serving the warrant.
Acevedo said police weren’t yet sure if one or two suspects had fired on officers as they entered the residence. At least one semi-automatic pistol was found at the scene. The narcotics investigation was related to the sale of black tar heroin, Acevedo said.
Police used two robots to clear the house before re-entering it and declaring the two suspects killed dead at the scene.
An investigation is ongoing.
At the press conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked residents to pray for the officers and their families.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement about the shooting, writing: “This evening’s horrific attack on police officers is a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe.”
He pledged “whatever state resources” the City of Houston and the police department need “to bring swift justice to those involved.”
Acevedo said Houston Police would provide another update on Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. CT.