Officer fatally shoots armed suspect in northwest Houston

A suspect was fatally shot at an apartment complex in northwest Houston

November 30, 2011 5:59:39 PM PST
Houston police say an armed carjack suspect was fatally shot by an undercover HPD officer in northwest Houston Wednesday.

Homicide investigators are in process of doing what they call a walk-through of the crime scene. The suspect's weapon was recovered at the scene.

The shooting happened at about 3:45pm in the parking lot of the Sherwood Lane Apartments in the 4500 block of Sherwood near Mangum.

An undercover officer had set up a surveillance operation at the parking lot of the complex when he was approached by the suspect, HPD Spokesman John Cannon said. The suspect, who was armed with a weapon, opened the passenger door of the officer's patrol car, didn't say anything and pointed the gun at the officer.

"That's when the officer fired several times," Cannon said. "The suspect was struck, he gets out of the side of the vehicle where he was standing on the passenger side and he collapses in the parking lot."

Paramedics were called and they pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.

Cannon said the incident happened so quickly that the undercover officer didn't even have time to identify himself as a law enforcement officer.

"It was that quick, and we're very fortunate that the suspect didn't come in, just starting to fire without doing or saying anything," Cannon said. "The suspect didn't even have time to say a word. He just point blank walked up to the vehicle, attempted to carjack our officer as if the officer was just a motorist or a tenant or anyone else, so who knows if this individual suspect has been doing this for some time. That's going to be part of our investigation."

The victim is believed to be a male in his late teens or early 20's and a resident of the complex.

Family members say the deceased is Adam Garza. But police say they're still working to get a positive identification on the suspect and check to see if he has a criminal history.

We spoke with the victim's mother who was very distraught. She told us her son was shot seven times by police and claims his back was turned away from the officer.

Detectives found a semi-automatic pistol at the scene, and they believe it belonged to the suspect. They are still talking to a number of witnesses.

The Houston Police Department's internal affairs office and the Harris County District Attorney's Office are both investigating the shooting per protocol.

The undercover officer has been with the Houston Police Department since 1992. He's assigned to the North Patrol Division.

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