Suspect accused of killing HPD officer dies

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The man who police say fatally struck an HPD officer at the end of a chase Monday morning has died.

Jeffery R. Conlin had been in Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition after reportedly shooting himself at the end of the pursuit that killed HPD Officer Richard Martin.

Police say Officer Martin, who had been laying out spike strips, was intentionally struck by Conlin. Martin died at the scene.

Conlin's mother tells Eyewitness News his organs are being harvested for donation.

"Some good has to come from this," Sally Conlin said.

Police were chasing Conlin after witnessing him allegedly make an illegal turn and run a red light while they were responding to a burglary off the Northwest Freeway at about 3am Monday. Police say he exchanged gunfire with them. Investigators say he led them down the Katy Freeway, got off and carjacked a woman at Highway 6.

"Drive! Drive!" Raquel Padilla told us he screamed at her. She says Conlin smashed in the driver's side window of her minivan and got inside. Padilla told us she thought Conlin was going to kill her. "Ayuda me! Ayuda Me!" Padilla said she screamed. She knew her survival was dependent upon a spilt second decision. She says she jumped out of the car, headfirst near Highway 6 and FM 529.

Conlin kept going to Kirkwood, where police say he intentionally ran over Officer Richard Martin as he was putting down spike strips.

Officer Martin's captain says he wasn't involved until the very end when he was run over while trying to put an end to the chase.

"It shows he wanted to get involved and help out in the chase so nobody would be hurt," said HPD Capt. Paul Follis.

Police say Conlin kept driving to North Shepherd and W. Little York where police say he shot himself in the head. He survived, but was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Tuesday afternoon, he was pronounced dead.

Court documents show Conlin was no stranger to the law. His first adult conviction was at 19 for criminal mischief. His most serious conviction was for a high dollar theft. In January, the felon was charged with having a gun, body armor and drugs. When he didn't show up to court in February, more than three months ago, warrants were issued.

Court records show Conlin had been arrested multiple times and had four convictions on his record. None are nearly as serious as what he was accused of doing Monday.

An emotional HPD Chief Charles McClelland spoke to reporters after the accident, standing by the decision to chase a man speeding in a stolen UHaul.

VIDEO: HPD discusses details in deadly police chase

"The men and women of HPD, this is what they do day in and day out to keep this city safe," Chief McClelland said. "Obviously we have to chase and apprehend suspects who have done harm to our community and made our neighborhoods unsafe."

Officer Martin was 47 years old and has been in the department for four years. He has two children.

His wife has requested for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to conduct his funeral on Friday. The 100 Club is assisting with the cost.
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