Officer responding to call fatally shot

August 22, 2009 5:51:15 AM PDT
Eyewitness News has the latest developments on a tragic story we've been following - that of a Pasadena police officer shot to death in the line of duty Friday morning. [PHOTOS: Images from the shooting scene]

We learned that accused cop killer Sergio Robles remains in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. Pasadena police have been told that Robles will survive, but when he is released, he will go straight to jail. He's been charged with capital murder without bond.

A plastic trash bag now covers the porch where Pasadena Police Officer Jesse Hamilton responded to his last call. Just nine minutes after he reported for duty Friday morning, he found himself at a mobile home talking to a mother who had already reached out for help for her son who she says is mentally ill.

"He came in the middle of the night, but before he did, I called MHMRA (Harris County's Mental Health Administration) to see if they could come get them and put him in a psychiatric place," said Olga Garcia, mother of Robles.

Her next call was to Pasadena police reporting a domestic disturbance. Sergio Robles just got out of jail last week. His mother says he was off his meds and acting strange. She told the dispatcher he was unarmed, but as Officer Hamilton stood on the porch talking, authorities say he saw Robles with a gun. He called it in. Four minutes later, the officer had been fatally wounded after being shot in the head.

Another gunshot followed. From 50 feet away, a backup officer shot Robles in the head. Both were rushed to the hospital where Officer Hamilton was pronounced dead.

"I really don't know what he knew beforehand," said Assistant Chief Bud Corbett of the Pasadena Police Department.

Pasadena police are still dissecting the incident. They quickly dropped the flags outside the department, pulled out their black mourning bands and Ginny Ginn Wagner reached out.

"I'd love to help her and her children," said Wagner.

She is the widow of Officer Jeff Ginn, who was killed in the line of duty 18 years ago by a mental health patient. What happened to Hamilton is eerily similar. Her husband's death is now fresh again.

"It just brings it all back," said Wagner.

Investigators don't yet know whether Officer Hamilton had any warning. He had the standard training to deal with mental health patients and officials don't believe he made any mistakes.

"Sometimes these things can't be avoided you can have the highest level of vigilance and still get shot," said Asst. Chief Corbett.

It is too early to say whether the District Attorney will seek the death penalty in this case. MHMRA would not discuss whether the suspect's mother did in fact call them, citing privacy laws.

Earlier Friday

A Pasadena police officer was killed in the line of duty early Friday morning. Officer Jesse Hamilton, 29, leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.

The mother of the suspected gunman who shot him says Officer Hamilton never knew it was coming. The first sign of trouble came just after 6am with a disturbance call to 911. Officer Hamilton was the first officer to arrive at the mobile home park on Bob Street near Shaver.

Crime scene investigators collecting evidence, marking the spots where shots were fired, and where the 29-year-old officer was fatally wounded. At 6:09am, Officer Hamilton was dispatched to the mobile home park on a disturbance call that was reported by the mother of a schizophrenia patient. Sergio Robles had only been out of jail from a DUI charge for a week when he was having problems.

"He was on his medication," insisted Robles' mother Olga Garcia. "He got out, he came home. He started talking to his girlfriend and he told the girlfriend...He was being, like, acting kind of weird."

Robles' girlfriend was staying with his mother. Early Friday morning, he appeared, and not long after, so did Officer Hamilton.

Pasadena Police Assistant Chief Bud Corbett said, "At some point the officer learned that the suspect, who was inside the trailer, had a gun, and he advised the dispatcher that the suspect was armed. Almost immediately after that, there was shots fired. The officer was apparently struck in the head."

Robles was struck in the head as well. Whether it was by Officer Hamilton's gun or that of another officer who arrived as backup in unclear right now. A Life Flight helicopter took the unconscious officer to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he later died. Robles is listed in critical condition.

The shooting has left other families in the neighborhood feeling uneasy. But it has also left those who knew and worked with the young policeman who never made it home to his family today in stunned disbelief.

Officer Hamilton leaves behind his wife and two children. He was with the Pasadena Police Department for the last four years.

As for the suspect who allegedly shot Officer Hamilton, Sergio Robles, 24, was released from the Harris County jail last week, after serving a 30 day sentence for DWI. Robles also served 10 days behind bars in 2004 for discharging a firearm in Pasadena.

An investigation is underway.
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Donations:
Donations to assist Officer Hamilton's family can be made to the 100 Club.

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