Sgt. Harold Preston was shot several times and died. Officer Courtney Waller was shot in the arm.
HOUSTON – Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston died after being wounded in a shooting in an apartment complex on Tuesday morning. He was one of two officers shot for domestic disturbance while on a call.
Art Acevedo, the Houston police chief, said Sgt. Preston, 65, sustained multiple head injuries during the shooting. He was also shot in the back.
The chief said Sgt. Preston was surrounded by family before succumbing to his injuries. He was a police officer for 41 years.
“We have lost a wonderful person,” said the police chief.
HPD officer Courtney Waller was identified as the other officer injured in the shooting. He was shot in the arm. The boss said Officer Waller was a twin.
“In the last week we lost two very good men … There is a real evil in this world.” said the chief of police. This is just days after the Houston Fire Department lost one of their own, the Arson Investigator Lemuel Bruce.
CONNECTED: Who was Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston?
The suspect was identified as Elmer Manzano, 51. Chef Acevedo said Manzano was a Salvadoran with a long criminal history but didn’t go into it.
Manzano was shot in the stomach and taken to Ben Taub Hospital.
The suspect’s 14-year-old son was also shot dead during the incident and taken to Texas Children’s Hospital, the chief said. He is expected to be fine.
Officer Waller and Sgt. Preston – as well as another officer – responded to the scene. The officers met with the complainant, who was the suspect’s estranged wife.
The officers spoke to her in the parking lot for about an hour. Acevedo said the woman wanted to get her things and move out.
Acevedo said the suspect’s son opened the door to the apartment shortly before 9:30 a.m. and told officers the suspect had a gun. The suspect then shot several rounds at the officers.
A phone call was then made to assist the officers.
The answering officers could then remove Sgt. Preston and Officer Waller from the scene to be transported by ambulance.
A Good Samaritan who was nearby heard the shots and helped pull the wounded officers out of the line of fire.
President of the Houston Police Officers Union Joe Gamaldi tweeted that the wounded officers were taken to the hospital:
“Two of our officers were shot and taken to the hospital. Please keep them and all of our officers in your thoughts and prayers. We need them now.”
The suspect then surrendered shortly before 10:30 a.m., the boss said. An elderly woman came out of the apartment at that time.
Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement:
“Our hearts go with the family of Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston, who was shot dead on duty this morning,” said Governor Abbott. “This tragic loss is a grave reminder of the dangers our brave police officers face while protecting our communities. Cecilia and I ask our Texans to join us in raising the family of Sgt. Preston in prayer in their time of need. We Also, ask all Texans to pray for the speedy recovery of Houston Police Officer Courtney Waller, who was shot responding to the same incident and is recovering in the hospital, and the state stands ready to assist the Houston Police in stopping this Terrible to bring to justice tragedy. “
Look back for updates on this breaking news.