Fallen Bellaire officer, bystander remembered on Christmas Day

December 24, 2012 10:00:00 PM PST
It started as a car chase, but it ended with bullets flying and two families left grieving on Christmas. Police say a Belliare police officer and an innocent bystander became the victims of a shootout in southwest Houston Monday morning.

The deadly confrontation happened in the parking lot of an auto shop on Bellaire Boulevard. Corporal Jimmie Norman, 53, was working Christmas Eve so he could be off on Christmas Day, to be with his family.

A memorial has sprung up as a sign of support in this community, as the Bellaire Police Department mourns at Christmas.

Harlem Harold Lewis, 21, is the accused killer. Investigators say Lewis also fatally shot Terry Taylor, the owner and general manager of a nearby Maaco shop.

The deadly chain of events all began with a traffic stop that turned into a brief chase and eventually ended with the shootings of both Norman and Taylor. Police say Taylor ran out of his shop to help Norman and died in that parking lot.

"We're devastated by the loss," said Bellaire Police Department Chief Byron Holloway. "We ask that you keep his family and the family of the other victim in your thoughts."

"I feel so bad for those families, especially at Christmas," said Leslie Hokanson, whose car was struck. "I feel bad for all the families, including the shooter, who made a horrible choice."

Corporal Norman, a 24 year veteran, is the first Bellaire officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty.

Lewis, the suspected gunman, has gunshot wounds from backup officers who responded and arrested him. He was taken to Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical but stable condition. Officials say he is expected to survive and has been charged with capital murder of a police officer, murder and felony evading in a motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, donations are being accepted to "The 100 Club Survivors Fund," which provides benefits to the dependents of Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers who lose their life in the line of duty.

Contributions are being accepted at:

100 Club Survivors Fund
5555 San Felipe ? Suite 520
Houston, TX 77056
Or at The 100 Club website: www.the100club.org.


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