It happened around 3:30 a.m. in the 8800 block of Bryam Street near the Gulf Freeway.
Police officers saw what they believed to be a drug deal happening at a convenience store and began following a car when they tried to perform a traffic stop, according to Houston police.
When the driver took off, officers say someone threw a pistol out of the car and ended up driving on Bryam Street, a dead-end road off the southbound feeder of the Gulf Freeway near the Monroe Park and Ride.
The fleeing vehicle was traveling approximately 70 mph on the short road when it crashed into a concrete barrier at the end of the street, flipped and ended up in a bayou.
The passenger died at the scene. The driver was taken to the hospital with a broken arm.
A Houston police cruiser in pursuit of the two also crashed into the barrier, police said. The officer involved was not seriously injured.
The driver, who was not immediately identified, faces a murder charge related to the passenger's death, Houston police said. The driver was out on bond for unrelated charges of evading and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to HPD Assistant Chief of Police Wendy Baimbridge.