Man fleeing from police shoots at officers, drowns after stabbing himself in Galveston County

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Saturday, July 2, 2022
Man flees and shoots at officers, drowns after stabbing himself
Video shows members of the Galveston County Sheriff's Office dive team searching for the gun used by the suspect who fled from police, shot at officers and drowned after stabbing himself in Highland Bayou.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 22-year-old man who led police on a car chase drowned late Friday night after crashing his vehicle and opening fire on officers.

The chase started in Santa Fe when officers tried to stop a pickup truck that was clocked at going 96MPH in a 55MPH zone in the 16000 block of State Highway 6.

When the suspect, Christopher Ortega, refused to pull over, a police pursuit headed south on State Highway 6, police said.

Eventually, Ortega crashed his vehicle into the back of a 5th wheel trailer in the 7200 block of LaFrance in the Galveston County unincorporated community of Old Bayou Vista.

As Ortega got out of his vehicle he reportedly shot at two Hitchcock Police Department officers.

Investigators said one of the patrol vehicles was struck three times, but neither officer was wounded.

HPD officers returned fire, but did not strike the 22-year-old, HPD Chief Wilmon Smith said.

It was then when Ortega went into the water where he reportedly stabbed himself in the chest and pounded the knife deeper into his chest, Santa Fe Police Lt. Greg Boody said.

He eventually drowned in the waters of Highland Bayou, which feeds into Galveston Bay.

Boody confirmed Smith's account of Ortega not being struck by the officers' gunfire.

The Santa Fe Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division took over what is classified as an officer-involved death of a suspect, since Ortega died during an incident involving Hitchcock police officers.

Video shows members of the Galveston County Sheriff's Office Dive Team returned to the area on Saturday morning to search for the gun used by the suspect.

It was unconfirmed as of 11:34 a.m. if the weapon had been recovered.