5 officers shoot robbery suspect who may have been unarmed in west Houston chase, Chief Finner says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A chase that started in southwest Houston ended with officers opening fire and hitting a robbery suspect on Westheimer Road, according to police.

Police said officers started pursuing a suspect at about 3:40 p.m. around Leawood Boulevard and Bissonnet Street. It was unclear why they were chasing the driver.

"He's hitting a bunch of cars. He's hitting a bunch of cars," an officer can be heard saying in Rangecast audio.

HPD initially reported the suspect fired shots at officers who then returned fire and hit the man in the the 13400 block of Westheimer Road.

"Shots fired, shots fired. Suspect down," an officer can be heard saying in Rangecast audio.

Then during a briefing Sunday at about 8:30 p.m., HPD Chief Troy Finner said they could not confirm the suspect even had a weapon.

"Originally, we sent out that the suspect fired upon officers and then they returned fire," Finner said. "We can't confirm that suspect fired upon officers."

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Finner said officers located the man on Amblewood and Stancliff, when a chase that lasted 15 to 20 minutes ensued.

"It's just senseless. If you're doing a crime and police get behind you, the game is up. Don't do crazy things," said Finner during Sunday's briefing.

When the suspect got to Westheimer Road, he lost control, crashed into at least two vehicles and then hit a median, according to police. That's when Finner said officers approached the man's vehicle, and as he got out, four officers and a sergeant discharged their weapons. It was unclear how many times the man was shot.

No officers were reported injured, but the man was taken to the hospital by Life Flight in serious condition. Finner said the suspect was undergoing surgery and is expected to survive.

Police described the suspect as a 40-year-old Black man who has a criminal history.

As for the five officers, they were all put on administrative leave until HPD is able to further investigate and review surveillance video Monday morning.

"Our officers and citizens, we're in tough times. We'll do what we can to keep the city safe and at the end of the day, we are the people who hold the community together. If we make a mistake, we fess up," said Finner during Sunday's briefing.

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