Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief James Jones said during a news conference that a person of interest was taken into custody, but it wasn’t clear if the person was a witness or a suspect. Officials noted that they are still looking for the suspect believed to be the shooter.
Jones explained that the deputies were working for a police-related extra job at 45 Norte Sports Bar and Lounge when a disturbance, likely a robbery, happened around 2:00 a.m. local time, leading to the deadly shooting.
“[The deputies] went outside to address a disturbance … it turns out it may have been a robbery,” Jones said, according to preliminary information from the scene.
“They were trying to arrest a suspect, or detain a suspect, and they were wrestling with him when they were ambushed … we believe that they were ambushed—shot from behind by a suspect with a rifle,” the assistant police chief said.
Jones added that it is unclear whether deputies were able to return fire. He said police were still investigating.
One deputy was shot in the back and another was shot in the foot, said Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4. The third deputy was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“I left my third deputy, who is deceased, here in the hospital,” Herman said during the same briefing on Saturday. “It’s probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my career.”
The prime suspect has been described by authorities as a Hispanic male in his early 20s. Herman said he hope to have the suspect in custody soon.
“I hope for swift and quick justice for that individual because he ambushed my deputies,” he explained—as he also asked for thoughts and prayers from everyone in the community for the families involved.
“What happened tonight was evil,” he told reporters. “This incident is going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” he added, referring to the victims’ families.
According to the Texas Association of Counties, a constable is a licensed peace officer who performs various law enforcement functions. They also serve legal documents and perform other duties.
The deputy killed in the line of duty has not yet been identified. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the officer is the 49th law enforcement officer to die from gunfire in the line of duty this year, Breitbart reported.