Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that at about 10:42 p.m. deputies were responding to a call of an aggravated robbery at a CVS in the 10800 block of the Eastex Freeway and Tidwell.
Authorities say a sheriff's deputy saw a man leaving the CVS wearing a mask and getting into a car that matched the description he heard on the scanner.
When the deputy tried to stop him, the man kept going, sparking the pursuit.
Gonzalez says that at 10:49 p.m., the deputy called in that they were chasing someone, possibly in a Lincoln town car. By 10:52 p.m., the deputy's radio went silent.
According to Houston police, the deputy chasing the suspect got into a crash with a black car on Laura Koppe and Lockwood in northeast Houston. Five more vehicles were hit.
Authorities told ABC13 the deputy's lights and sirens were on.
The woman who was driving the black car was killed. The vehicle was carrying two children, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. Authorities say the 5-year-old is in critical condition, and the 2-year-old is stable.
After the crash, the deputy's patrol car briefly caught fire.
Surveillance video obtained by ABC13 also shows the deputy's unit slam into parked cars in the parking lot of a store. There's a lot of fire and smoke, and at one point, you can see a group of people appear to carry someone into the store.
The deputy was pulled to safety by fast-acting good Samaritans.
"The police car was on fire so me and two more gentlemen climbed over the car, got him out, pulled him, took him inside the store, checked his pulse, made sure he was breathing. Got him to stay with me, I said, 'Keep your eyes up. Stay with me. Help is on the way. And I'm just thankful that I was where I was with those two gentlemen with me because I couldn't have gotten him out by myself," said one of the people who rushed to the rescue.
SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Aftermath of violent crash shows frantic efforts to help after chase
The deputy was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Three other adults were also transported for treatment and evaluation.
The suspect left the scene, and officials are looking for him.
Authorities are looking into the speeds during the chase, but said they expect the investigation to take a while.
Follow Brhe Berry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Follow Courtney Fischer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.