Person of interest in double murder arrested after shootout with police in SW Houston parking lot

March 4, 2013 2:03:21 PM PST
Houston police say a gunman was arrested Sunday after a shootout with officers in southwest Houston, and the suspect is a person of interest wanted for questioning in a double murder this weekend.

HPD spokesperson Victor Senties said the event began with police responding to a report of a suspicious person around 3:30pm in a parking lot near a meat market on West Airport between Chimney Rock and Hillcroft.

When officers arrived, the suspect was sitting in his pickup truck. He was ordered to get out of the vehicle with his hands in the air.

Officials said the man made threatening gestures, took off his jacket and then reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun. Moments later, he opened fire.

Police returned fire, including a probationary officer who graduated from the police academy in recent months.

People in nearby businesses took cover. Tashala Curry woman was at a laundromat.

"I just heard the fire and gunshots and ran to the back of the washateria," she said. "We didn't know what to expect."

Walking across the street, a teenager on his way to work saw children running for cover.

"They just got out of the red suburban and ran behind the cop car," the teen, Benito Zapata, said. "I guess the cops told them to run there."

What he saw was just part of the story. In the midst of the shooting, trapped in their SUV, was a mother and her two young children. One of the three officers put himself in harm's way to get them to safety.

"Thinking quickly, runs over and gets all the family out of the vehicle and gets them to safety while the gun battle is going on," Senties said.

In the end, the family was safe -- although their truck took some bullets -- and the officers were uninjured.

The suspect was struck several times. He survived and was taken into custody and transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital, authorities said.

No other injuries were reported.

The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Keith Turner, is a person of interest wanted for questioning in the murder of a mother and her adult son Saturday morning. The victims were found shot to death at a home in the 7100 block of Bahia near Willview.

The question now is: why did Turner allegedly start a gun battle?

"As to why he was here, we don't know at this time," Senties said.

The officers involved will be placed on desk duty and receive counseling, as is standard in officer-involved shootings.

Turner is now charged with attempted capital murder of an officer for this shooting. This incident, as well as the double murder investigation, remains under investigation.

Stay with Eyewitness News and for updates.

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