Chase ends with suspect shot

August 19, 2009 10:37:35 AM PDT
A police chase Tuesday night ended with gunshots in northeast Harris County. Around 8:30pm, Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies tried to pull over a black Dodge Neon on Sheldon near Avenue C. The car was driven by Billie Joe Garza, 26, who was wanted for several felony warrants. According to deputies, Garza refused to stop, and a chase ensued that led officers through a residential neighborhood.

The car Garza was driving blew a tire and stopped in that neighborhood near Louisville and Uvalde, at which time, Garza and a 16-year-old female got out of the car and began to flee on foot.

Deputies chased both of them into the backyard of a home. They say Garza tripped and fell to the ground, and while on the ground, pointed his gun at the deputies and fired. Neither of the officer was hit. One of the deputies returned fire, but didn't hit Garza.

They say Garza then got up, ran towards the backyard gate, turned and fired again at the deputies. Both pursuing deputies then opened fire on Garza, striking him several times. Garza was taken into custody and transported to the hospital. At this time, his condition is unknown.

The 16-year-old female was later found, questioned and released at the scene.

Neighbors with whom we spoke say they're tired of seeing the crime in the area.

"It was a frightening moment. It's not safe to be in this area walking at night. I'm a bike rider so it's not safe for us to drive our bikes out here with shootings and robberies," said Justin Kennedy.

Another neighbor, Michelle Zarate, said, "We're sick and tired of people coming over here. We're hard-working people and we want to have a good life. Then we have these people coming here and trying to take what we have. It's not fair."

Garza faces two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon of a peace officer.

As is policy in officer-involved shootings, the shooting will be investigated by the Houston Police Department and the Harris County district attorney's office.

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