Officer shot, suspect killed during standoff in Conroe

Sgt. James Kelemen lost his right eye Saturday after being shot in the face by an armed suspect.

April 4, 2011 11:45:20 AM PDT
A Conroe police sergeant lost an eye in surgery after being shot in the face Saturday during a standoff with an armed suspect, officials said. The name of the deceased shooter was released Sunday. The shooting happened around 4pm at a bakery on North Loop 336 East near F.M. 1484 in Conroe.

Sgt. James Kelemen was taken by an air medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital after he was shot in the eye.

Conroe police say Kelemen was shot by James Richard Hill -- a 54-year-old Liberty County man. Hill aimed a shotgun at Kelemen and fired. As the officer was shot, several other Conroe police officers arrived and returned fire.

"The suspect discharged his shotgun at the supervisor. The Conroe officers returned fire. It was almost simultaneous 'pop pop pop' as the shots were fired," said Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney.

Authorities said Hill died at the scene. Windows of a parked car were shattered by officer gunfire -- the same car authorities say the suspect had slashed the tires on after threatening a female employee earlier this afternoon.

"We do know that [Hill] had threatened several people at the scene and made comments to them he was 'going out in a blaze of glory,'" Ligon said.

Hill returned with a shotgun and employees called police. Authorities say none of the employees were injured.

Meanwhile, Kelemen is recovering, surrounded by family.

"He has a large family of law enforcement. His father and brothers are in law enforcement and they are all there to support him," Conroe Police Chief Phillip Dupuis said.

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