Officers fatally shoot drug suspect

June 4, 2008 10:31:17 AM PDT
Early this morning there was a deadly confrontation between Houston police and a suspect. The suspect was killed and police say he had no intention of letting them take him into custody alive. It was around 6am when residents of Crescent City apartments on Broadway at Bellfort in southeast Houston witnessed Houston police fatally shoot a man described as a known drug suspect.

"I don't even know why they shot him anyways," said witness Reginald Jackson. "He was just running."

Police say the man was running after he was part of a drug deal earlier in the morning.

HPD Captain B.D. Williams explained, "This is an area known for its activity in narcotics. (Officers) were trying to find this particular suspect because they had seen do what they thought was a drug transaction."

Undercover officers from the southeast division gang and tactical unit searched for the suspect at the Pebblewalk apartment complex across the street. Witnesses say they saw the man on a bike and that he had a gun.

"They thought the suspect was reaching for or trying to discard drugs," said Capt. Williams. "It was at some point in time that the suspect stated to the officers, 'You guys are going to have to kill me.'"

Officer Hans Wagner used his Taser on the suspect.

"The suspect pulled the Taser darts out, continued to fight and then fled," Capt. Williams explained. "As the suspect fled, he turned towards the officers in a manner in which he was producing the weapon. Officers, fearing for their lives, fired. The suspect then continued to run to the complex across the street where he died."

Investigators say two-year veteran Shane Nash fired the shot that killed the suspect -- a shot that is just too close to resident Erica Benjamin's front door.

"I ain't never seen nothing like this," she said. "I mean, I'm going to have to move. That's how I feel. It's right here. I'm sitting here looking at a dead body."

Investigators have not said if they found any drugs or a weapon. The officer who fired the Taser was injured. He suffered a broken finger in the struggle with the suspect.

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