The suspect, only identified as a 30-year-old Black man, and a driver led a tactical team on a short chase through a northeast side neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.
With the suspect's vehicle stopped by force and tactical officers approaching, the suspect got out in the middle of Josie Street near the East Loop holding a bag, HPD Executive Chief Matt Slinkard said. That was when one officer opened fire and wounded the man.
The suspect was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police took the driver into custody for evading, Slinkard added.
While the investigation is in its early stages, Slinkard mentioned that preliminary viewing of body camera footage captured the suspect holding just a bag and not a firearm. A semi-automatic pistol, though, was inside the bag.
The officer, who was part of a tactical team in the Violent Fugitive Investigations task force, was placed on administrative leave, a routine procedure that Slinkard said is standard following similar incidents.
What led up to the chase and shooting?
The tactical team's operation began at 10 a.m. Thursday a few blocks from the Josie Street scene. Officers were in search of a man who was wanted on three felony warrants: felon in possession of a firearm; aggravated assault, which police are looking into whether a deadly weapon was involved; and felon evading from a previous case.
By 2 p.m., the team spotted a man who may have been the suspect they were seeking. About 45 minutes later, the same person got into the passenger side of a vehicle driven by someone.
According to Slinkard, the team followed and tried pulling over the pair, who kept going, leading to the short chase.
An "intervention technique" was used to stop the vehicle along Josie Street, where the fatal shots were fired.
While no officers or citizens were injured, and no property was damaged, Slinkard expected Josie Street to remain closed for hours, perhaps into the evening time.
The representatives from the Harris County District Attorney's Office and the Special Investigations Unit of HPD's Homicide Division were called to the area.
This is the second shooting this week that involved an HPD officer opening fire on a wanted suspect. Slinkard spoke in the immediate aftermath of a shooting Monday on Martin Luther King.
"These officers, at any given moment while trying to take people into custody, even in the safest manner possible, are sometimes facing all too often armed individuals, and all too often, armed individuals who are wanted on felony cases," Slinkard said. "So, obviously, it's a dangerous situation for everybody involved."
However, the executive chief acknowledged the toll these incidents take.
"Any loss of life is tragic."
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