Houston police officer shot in northwest Houston

February 9, 2010 4:53:35 AM PST
A Houston police officer was rushed to a hospital after he was shot Monday afternoon while working a second job. Two men are in custody as authorities try to piece together what happened. At Memorial Hermann Hospital Monday night, there was a show of force by Houston police officers for an injured comrade. After the mad rush, all they can do is sit and wait.

"It's nerve-racking," said one officer.

It all happened within seconds around noon on Monday. Houston police say Officer Frank Pierce, a courtesy officer at the Alexan Bunker Hill apartment complex near Pine Lake and Bunker Hill in northwest Houston, interrupted a burglary in progress. He identified himself as an officer to one suspect carrying a flat screen TV, not knowing there was a second suspect with a gun.

"He gives him verbal commands to drop what he was carrying," said Victor Senties with the Houston Police Department. "At that point, a second suspect that was inside the apartment comes out. He's got a weapon. He fires at the officer at least one time."

Neighbors told us they saw the suspects in their getaway vehicle and called police.

"There was a black male in the bed of the truck with a gun facing forward going really fast," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

"Five or six shots. Boom, boom, one right after the other, boom, boom, boom," said eyewitness Martin Rodriguez. "In a couple of minutes, I heard the chopper, stepped outside, saw some officers in the back bayou with dogs and that's when they told me to step inside."

The suspects took off. Officer Pierce took a bullet to the abdomen, but managed to fire back. He was rushed away from the scene, onto the freeway and to Memorial Herman Hospital by ambulance where HPD brass as well his co-workers gathered in support.

"It's one thing day in and out for this to happen to strangers, but when it's someone who has your back, it hits closer to home," said Officer John Guerra.

While K-9 units were on the trail, officers throughout the area were on the lookout for the shooters. Jersey Village police first found a truck abandoned in a field near Jones Road and Highway 290. The suspects were caught not too far away at a shopping center.

People coming home at the apartment complex in west Houston Monday night were surprised by the violence.

"That they were carrying guns, that's really scary," said resident Stephanie Taylor.

They were also impressed by the officer's actions. On the force since 2007, Pierce trains fellow officers. Now they're looking out for him.

"I shadowed him for quite some time. He taught me a lot," said Officer Guerra.

Officer Pierce is in good condition. Pierce has been with the Houston Police Department for three years, and worked as a West University officer for 10 years before that. His wife is an officer with the Jersey Village Police Department. They have three children and live together at the apartment complex where the shooting took place.

Residents at the apartment complex told us that crime has only gotten worse. The suspects have not been officially charged or identified.

Besides all of the officers paying their respects, Pierce was visited at the hospital by acting Houston Police Chief Charles McLelland as well as Houston Mayor Annise Parker.