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Texas officer still critical after shootout

By Lindsay Wise and Jennifer Leahy
The Houston Chronicle

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A veteran Precinct 6 officer shot Saturday at a north Harris County apartment complex remained in critical condition Sunday morning after several surgeries, officials said.

Cpl. Harry Thielepape, 57, was off duty at the time of the shooting, working his second job as a security guard at the Chancellor Apartments in the 300 block of Parramatta.

Thielepape pulled over a vehicle driven by Jesus Gilbert Reyna. 21. He found marijuana and a handgun on Reyna, who had two Class C warrants, Harris County homicide detectives said.

He arrested, handcuffed and placed Reyna in the back seat of his unmarked maroon police vehicle, but Reyna somehow managed to get hold of Thielepape's pistol, shooting the deputy multiple times, authorities said. The officer was wearing his badge and a bulletproof vest, Precinct 6 officials said.

Thielepape returned fire and Reyna was found shot to death in the parking lot near the deputy's haphazardly parked car, his hands cuffed in front of his body. Witnesses said they heard roughly 20 shots fired at 2:30 p.m. at the apartment complex.

"We do not know how or at what point the suspect obtained a weapon," said Sgt. Bryan Pair, of the Harris County Sheriff's Department homicide unit. "We're trying to find out exactly how he was handcuffed, exactly what the investigation was concerning."

Thielepape was rushed by ambulance to Memorial Hermann-The Texas Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery.

"He's gone through several surgeries," Danny Perez, a spokesman for the precinct, said Sunday morning.

This is the second tragedy for Precinct 6 officers since late November, when off-duty Reserve Deputy Constable Carltrell Lewayne Odom, 22, was allegedly robbed and shot to death by four Jones High School students and a Fort Bend teen.

"It's been tough," Perez said. "We're just hoping he's going to make it through."

Thielepape has worked at Precinct 6 for more than 10 years, Perez said. He currently works in a special unit that is charged with apprehending felony suspects and parole violators, Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino said.

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

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