Man charged with shooting at officers responding to fatal HPD helicopter crash

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Saturday, May 9, 2020
Man charged after shots were heard near HPD helicopter crash
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Police said the man fired at least five shots at the helicopters responding to the fatal crash.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer after he allegedly shot at two helicopters responding to the deadly Houston Police Department helicopter crash.

Josue Daniel Claros-Trajedo, 19, is accused of shooting at the choppers that were providing support after Saturday's fatal crash of HPD's 75-Fox.

The crash killed Tactical Flight Officer, Jason Knox, 35, and critically injured the pilot, Senior Officer, Chase Cormier, 35.

The Houston Police Officer's Union tweeted on Friday that Cormier was being moved to TIRR for rehabilitation.

"We have surveillance video showing him (Claros-Trajedo) firing at the helicopters, yes," said Prosecutor Sean Teare. "That's unacceptable."

Investigators believe Claros-Trajedo fired at least five shots from two different locations at the HPD and DPS helicopters that were hovering above the crash site, as first responders frantically worked below to rescue the officers.

According to court records, Claros-Trajedo hid firearms in an air vent in his apartment. Teare says police recovered the handgun they believe he used.

Over the radio, reports of "shots fired. Shots fired," and "we got a security guard that says people are actually shooting at the helicopters that are responding here," were broadcast that morning.

Claros-Trajedo, a Honduran national, according to court records, was arrested soon after the crash and charged with tampering, discharging a firearm and unlawful carry. Investigators say he told them he fired into the air while drunk.

Video captured by multiple people on the ground, prior to the crash, shows the helicopter hovering, before it begins to spin out of control and rapidly lose altitude, just before 2 a.m.

The crew was responding to a call about bodies floating in a nearby bayou. No bodies were found, and it wasn't clear if the call was legitimate.

Investigators do not believe gunfire is to blame for the crash, but the cause has not been determined.


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