Houston man shot after 'pummeling' police cruiser

The Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON, Tex. — A 39-year-old man who repeatedly "pummeled" the windows of a patrol car with a pipe and then turned aggressively on officers was shot and killed by police in south Houston Saturday night, police said.

One of five officers involved in the incident also was shot, by another officer, and taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said Houston police public information officer Gabe Ortiz.

The incident at 6627 Foster happened around 8 p.m. after officers responded to a disturbance call from a woman who reported her son had threatened her with a knife, Ortiz said. Family friends said the man was mentally challenged.

When the first two officers arrived at the scene, the woman's son, who was not identified, walked aggressively toward the officers carrying a pipe at least three feet in length and had a chunk of concrete at its base, Ortiz said.

The officers ordered the man to stop, but "he refused," Ortiz said.

One of the officers, who was not identified, fired at least one shot from his taser, but it "had no effect," said Ortiz, who was unsure whether the man was struck with the taser.

The man then started bashing in the windshields and windows of the patrol car with the pipe, which broke as he was bashing the the car, police said. Meanwhile, the officers called for backup.

After two additional officers arrived at the scene, the man threw a piece of the pipe at the officers. After the fifth officer arrived, the man, carrying the other portion of the pipe, walked aggressively toward the officers and made "threatening statements," Ortiz said.

Two of the officers, neither of whom was identified, discharged their weapons at or about the same time, striking the man and one of the officers, either directly or by ricochet, police said. The injured officer was not identified.

Ortiz said investigators were still trying to determine how many times the officers fired their weapons, how many times the man was hit and whether the man was struck in the front or back of his body.

It was the first time either of the officers had discharged a weapon, he said.

Police were unsure whether the mother witnessed the shooting.

HPD Capt. Bruce Williams said he was unsure whether any of the officers has ever been disciplined.

HPD's internal affairs division and the Harris County District Attorney's office will investigate the incident, Williams said.

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

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