Houston, Texas – A man believed to be the suspect who opened fire on a Precinct 4 police station in Spring earlier this week led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in Houston today, resulting in a shootout that left the suspect dead.
The final confrontation involved the suspect driving dangerously around gas stations and small businesses near the Greenspoint Mall, attempting to evade law enforcement vehicles. Just outside of the Goodwill store off Greenspoint Drive a Houston PD SWAT vehicle intentionally collided with the suspect vehicle head-on, stopping the chase. The suspect immediately exited the vehicle and began shooting at officers but went down after a brief exchange of gunfire.
Three medics that work with the SWAT team were on site and immediately began administering medical services to the suspect. Shortly after, the suspect died from wounds sustained in the shootout. The chase had lasted over 45 minutes. No law enforcement officers were wounded in the confrontation.
The office of Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman had been investigating the suspect since he pulled into the parking lot of the police station off Holzworth Road and shot at the front doors and windows. Their investigation, in conjunction with a tip from a local news outlet, allowed law enforcement to predict where the suspect would be this morning.
Shortly before the Veteran’s Day Parade in Downtown Houston was set to begin, a Precinct 4 deputy identified the suspect vehicle near the Texas Medical Center and Old Spanish Trail and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The suspect did not stop his vehicle and immediately began the high-speed chase.
The chase initially proceeded southward but later entered parts of downtown. Precinct 4 was in constant communication with Houston Police Department, who decided to delay the beginning of the parade out of caution. Resources were dispatched to ensure the suspect could not enter the crowded area near the parade.
The suspect navigated to the freeway and proceeded northbound on I-45 North until exiting near the Greenspoint Mall. Because Houston PD had staged law enforcement vehicles in the area they were able to quickly join the pursuit. The suspect weaved in and out of traffic on the freeway, regularly exceeding speeds of 80 miles per hour.
Precinct 4 and Houston PD have confirmed that the suspect made multiple phone calls to Constable Mark Herman’s office during the chase. On these calls, the suspect reportedly made threats of violence toward law enforcement, saying that he was armed and wearing body armor and that police officers would die in the standoff.
It was later confirmed that the suspect was wearing body armor and had at least one firearm, an AR-15, in his possession. The rifle is believed to be the same weapon used to shoot into the police station on Monday. Four officers fired shots in the final confrontation, two of which were deputies of Constable Herman and two of which were with Houston PD SWAT.
While no officers were injured in the exchange, one nearby civilian was sent to the hospital for a minor wound to the ankle, likely sustained from a ricochet or stray bullet. Several other civilians in the vicinity were shaken up by the incident and were comforted and tended to by officers at the scene.
Two separate investigations pertaining to this event are underway: Constable Mark Herman’s office is leading the investigation into the suspect’s attack on the police station that occurred on Monday, while Houston PD is leading the investigation into the chase and shootout that occurred today. Constable Herman’s office has yet to confirm to the public that the suspect killed today is the same that attacked the police station, though the connection is heavily implied.
This is a developing story and both Precinct 4 and Houston PD have said that more details will come out as their investigations determine the exact events that occurred. You can watch Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman’s press conference and Houston PD Executive Chief Matt Slinkard’s press conference below.