Police audio captures chaos when HPD officers met with gunfire

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
HPD audio captures moment after veteran sergeant fatally shot
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There is police audio capturing the frantic moments when two officers were shot while dealing with a domestic violence suspect. In the video above, you will hear one officer describe the condition of the other.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- What was supposed to be a call to help a woman caught in a domestic violence situation with her husband wound up in the loss of a longtime Houston police veteran who was due to retire this year.

In the video player above, you can listen to the chaos that unfolded when officers were met by gunfire.

After that, press play on the video player below to listen to police audio when the resultant SWAT situation unfolded. And following that, read through and watch Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo's timeline of events.

HPD audio captures SWAT confrontation with suspect

Here is a timeline of the events, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, that led up to the shooting at Richmond Manor on Holly Hall on Oct. 20, as well as the events in the wake of a police sergeant's death.

  • 7:55 a.m.: Houston police receive a call of a domestic violence situation with an unknown weapon in the 2600 block of Holly Hall.
  • 8:05 a.m.: Police officers were dispatched to the call at an apartment complex.
  • 8:15 a.m.: HPD Officers Courtney Waller and Taylor and Sgt. Harold Preston arrive as the first units to an apartment complex. Officers made contact with the estranged wife of the suspect, Elmer Manzano. She told officers she was moving out of an apartment and trying to take away her belongings. Manzano locked his wife out and wouldn't let her in.
  • 8:15 a.m. to about 9:15 a.m.: Over the next hour, police and the wife calmly talk about Manzano's background information.
  • 9:25 a.m.: The couple's 14-year-old son, who had been with his mom and officers, opened the door to the apartment. It was then that Manzano was revealed to be armed with a gun. The suspect opens fire on police. Waller was hit in the arm. Preston was shot multiple times in the head. It was then that Waller and Taylor call out for help to dispatchers. SWAT and HPD's helicopter teams were called to the area.
  • 9:31 a.m.: Responding officers put together a "quick react team" to pull the sergeant lying on the ground away from the apartment door. Manzano remained armed in the apartment.
  • 9:32 a.m.: HFD medical responders start transporting Waller, Preston and the teen to hospitals. The teen and Waller were wounded in their arms. Preston died from his injuries.
  • 10:26 a.m.: Suspect saw out of a window the heavy police presence and that SWAT surrounded the apartment. Manzano surrendered. An elderly female inside the unit with the suspect also came out and was brought to safety.

Chief Acevedo walks through events that led to sergeant's killing