It happened off the Gulf Freeway near Bessemer about 3am. Houston police say it involved the Port of Houston officer working an off-duty job at the Del Mar apartments.
Investigators say the officer was doing his regular patrol rounds when he noticed a group of men speaking with a young woman and acting suspiciously. He apparently went by them more than once and on the second pass, he approached them to investigate. That's when the confrontation began with one of the suspects.
"What happens is -- he approaches them and the suspect reaches into his waistband. The other suspects who were standing there, get into the car and they to flee. The suspect begins to struggle with the officer. So as they are struggling the suspect then gets up, runs off and that is when our officer pursues. The suspects gets in the car and shots are fired at the officer's direction," said HPD Spokesperson Jodi Silva.
The officer returned fire and we are told that no one was struck during the exchange of gunfire. All of the suspects were able to get away in a late-model Nissan.
Authorities are interviewing a witness at the scene. An investigation is underway.