Officer opens fire on burglary suspects

HOUSTON It happened at a small shopping center off West Dyna near Airline. As the investigation continues, we are hearing from the owner of the store.

Police are now interviewing a number of witnesses. Meanwhile blood remains in the parking lot where the 16-year-old suspect was shot by that officer.

Police say the teen and four others were burglarizing a car stereo store when it all went down. With bullet holes left behind, the store is now opened again, but the owner says he can't believe what happened.

Store owner Ivan Otero is cleaning up a mess after a burglary and shooting at his store

"What the cop told me was they were teenagers," said Otero.

An HPD spokesman says around 1:30am, a driver reported seeing the group of suspects in a vehicle wearing bandanas over their faces and waving a gun around on the feeder road of Highway 45.

A short time later, the officers found the vehicle and suspects fitting the description coming out of the car stereo store with stolen merchandise. The officers reportedly asked them to stop.

Three of them stopped on command, but one of them reportedly jumped in his car and drove toward the officer, who began shooting. The 7-year veteran police officer shot at the car and the suspect got away.

The other suspect, a 16-year-old, began running towards the officer, reportedly ignoring commands, with his hands in his waistband.

"The officer believed they were armed, based on a description they'd been given a short time before. The officer, fearing for his safety, discharged his duty weapon, striking that suspect," said HPD Spokesperson Kese Smith. "Obviously, they thought this was a very serious situation."

Otero says he is now questioning if the suspects have ever crossed his path.

"I'm not saying they got what they deserved, but I'm saying they should be careful, you know," said Otero.

Police did not find a gun on the scene. Four of the suspects are now in custody. The fifth suspect, the 16-year-old who was shot, was transported to Ben Taub Hospital with non life threatening injuries. Charges are pending.

As is customary, the officer is on administrative duty as the investigation continues.

This is the third officer-involved shooting in the last couple of days in our area. On Alden Ridge in southwest Houston, an officer shot a man threatening his estranged common-law wife Wednesday night. A few hours later, a Harris County sheriff's deputy shot at a dangerous driver in the parking lot of a nightclub on Holzwarth. No one was hit in that shooting. The man shot on Alden Ridge will recover.

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