Chase with suspect accused of pointing gun at people ends in fiery crash in SW Houston

Courtney Carpenter Image
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Chase with man accused of pointing gun at drivers ends in fiery crash
It happened just hours after HPD Chief Troy Finner said there have been 40% fewer chases in the past 30 days. Police said the car the suspect was driving was reported stolen out of Dallas.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A police chase with a suspect accused of pointing a gun at people came to a fiery end in southwest Houston on Wednesday night.

SkyEye captured video of the suspect's vehicle engulfed in flames on the I-69 Southwest Freeway near Westpark Drive.

The chase happened just hours after Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the department is now pursuing fewer drivers.

SEE ALSO: 'Too many': HPD Chief Finner reveals revised version of chase policy amid growing number of pursuits

Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner announced a revised policy of initiating a chase on fleeing suspects.

Police said the chase started around 6:45 p.m. near the Westheimer Road exit on I-69.

Officers tried to stop the driver because he was acting erratically and pointing a gun at people, HPD said. He didn't stop, and that's when the chase began.

The car the suspect was driving was also reported stolen out of Dallas, according to police.

During the chase, the suspect crashed into an innocent woman's car. Thankfully, she was not hurt.

It all came to an end when the driver slammed into a pole. His car went up into flames and officers had to break the windows to rescue him from the fire, HPD said.

Police said the suspect ended up with a broken leg.

RELATED: HPD records nearly a two-thirds increase in pursuits over the last year as chase policy changes

Chief Troy Finner used Thursday's funeral service for an HPD sergeant's mother to address the need for changes to the department's chase policy.

Last month, not long after a sergeant's mother was hit and killed by a fleeing suspect, HPD changed their pursuit policy.

During a city council meeting on Wednesday, Finner said officers are initiating far fewer chases with the new policy in place.

"Violent individuals commit crimes in those vehicles, drive-by shootings, everything, so we can't just totally abandon the pursuits, but we are working smarter," Finner said.

Finner went on to say there have been 40% fewer pursuits in the past 30 days since the policy went into effect.

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