HPD looking for person who shot officer in back near Midtown

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston Police are looking for the person who shot an officer in the back yesterday while he was in the line of duty.

According to HPD, Officer Terry Smith, a motorcycle officer, was conducting a stop around 6pm in the 4200 block of Main Street. As he walked away, the officer heard a loud pop then felt pain. A bullet had struck the 20-year veteran in the lower back. A Houston Police spokesperson tells Eyewitness News Smith was not wearing his bulletproof vest as is required by department policy.

Officer Smith is listed in stable condition, according to HPD. He did not suffer life-threatening wounds but was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He's expected to make a full recovery.

During a press conference Tuesday night, an HPD spokesperson said the incident is still under investigation.

"We believe at this time, since there wasn't a lot of foot traffic, it's gotta be a passing vehicle that fired the round," the spokesperson said.

Investigators are also hoping to find a man and woman who were seen in the parking lot where the shooting happened. They say the pair was in a champagne-colored Buick and is believed to have been involved in an accident just before the shooting. The man and woman fled after shots were fired.

McClelland said the officer was not confronting any suspects, and investigators cannot confirm if he was even the intended target. They're hoping surveillance video will provide some clues.

Smith is assigned to the traffic division. He has six children.

In a tweet, Chief Charles McClelland said the shooting is a reminder there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop and officers must be vigilant at all times.

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