Officer fatally shoots man armed with knife

February 14, 2011 3:00:19 PM PST
An off-duty Houston police officer was asked by his neighbors to help break up a family fight and it ended with a deadly shooting. Around 12:30am Monday, Officer Raul Abdala got a knock on his front door. His neighbors were looking for help.

Family members say William "Chad" Nash was charging at his own mother. When Officer Abdala tried to intervene, investigators say Nash walked toward the officer with a knife in his hand. Fearing for his life, investigators say Abdala fired his weapon several times. Nash was killed -- and neighbors are in disbelief.

Neighbor Beth Mathis said, "That officer wouldn't use his weapon unless it's life or death, I can guarantee that."

In daylight, members of the Nash family gathered to mourn. While just next door, Officer Abdala's friends and family cleaned off any traces of the early morning confrontation. It is an emotional day for families who, until this morning, neighbors say co-existed in harmony.

"He's very much a family person, always outside with his kids, throwing the ball, playing basketball," said neighbor Randy Whiteside.

Nash's family wouldn't go into details of the family dispute that started everything, other than to say that Nash was a good father, and their neighbor was a good police officer.

As the investigation into exactly what happened continues, Officer Abdala will be placed on standard three day administrative duty, while his neighbors remain stunned by the shooting.

"He's very ethical," Mathis said. "He wouldn't interfere with something unless it was life or death."

The Nash family is devastated by their loss.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide division and the Harris County District Attorney's Office are investigating. Officer Abdala has been on the force since 2002.