Investigators believe the man was after one of the vans belonging to the Healthy Lunch Box in north Houston.
When officers arrived to the business on West Greens near Northborough, they say they found the suspect in the act of stealing a van.
And that's when the situation took a dangerous turn.
The business owner says two vans have been stolen and six others have been broken into over the past two weeks. Someone also broke in Friday night and stole keys to all their vans. But Saturday night's alleged attempt put a suspect in the hospital.
A mangled iron fence, trees and bushes torn apart, glass shattered on the concrete; the damage tells the story of last night's wild police chase that ended with HPD officers shooting at a suspect multiple times.
"We heard the two shots -- pow pow -- and then after that we heard return fire," witness Steven Montoya said. "Something like a machine gun or something. And it came off maybe nine, 10 shots."
The owner of the Healthy Lunch Box, which provides catered lunches to schools, waited in a car nearby Saturday night. She was keeping an eye on her business in light of the recent break-ins. She reportedly called HPD when she saw the suspect walk onto the property just after 11pm.
"This is a business that has had previous burglaries and actually, the officers were familiar with the location because there had been been a burglary there last night," HPD spokesperson Jodi Silva said.
When police arrived, they say they found Carlist Ray Brinkley, Jr. trying to steal one of the business' white vans. What they say happened next sounds like an action movie.
"He hits one officer and knocks him down," Silva said. "The van then comes around. It does almost a full U-turn and 360, hits the median and then goes back across the street again and hits a transformer, causing multiple transformers to explode."
"We heard the screeching of tires," Montoya said. "Something hit something and then the power went out. We heard the big explosion.
Houston police shot at Brinkley multiple times. At least one bullet hit him in the leg.
"He was attempting to hit the officers and refusing verbal commands," Silva said. "Officers, in fear of their life, did discharge their weapons at that time."
The officers involved are now on administrative leave for three days, which is standard, as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, Brinkley is recovering at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. Brinkley, Jr., 33, is charged with felony theft and criminal mischief.
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