Four police officers remain hospitalized Tuesday after being wounded in a gun battle at a southeast Houston home where drugs were allegedly being sold, according to Houston’s police chief.
A group of about a dozen Houston Police Department narcotics officers on Monday were trying to enter a home where authorities allege black tar heroin was being sold when two gunmen opened fire, Acevedo said.
Four of the officers were shot and a fifth suffered a knee injury.
More information was expected to be released Tuesday during a news conference at 10 a.m. local time outside Memorial Hermann Hospital, police said. It will be streamed live at the top of this page.
“Once the officers breached the door and the gunfire began from the suspects, one of the suspects actually retreated momentarily to the back of the room and then that suspect came back and again engaged the officers in gunfire,” Acevedo said.
Few details about the wounded officers have been released, but Acevedo told reporters the 54-year-old case agent leading the narcotics team was one of the two critically injured officers shot in the neck. It is the third time the case agent has been shot in the line of duty, Acevedo said.
It was not immediately known how many officers returned fire, but the two suspects were later found dead after SWAT officers used two robots to go into the home and determined that it was safe to enter after the gunfire stopped.
“This has been a tough day for our city,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Pray for (the injured officers) and pray for their families.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement after the shooting was reported.
“This evening’s horrific attack on police officers is a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe. The city of Houston and the Houston Police Department will have whatever state resources they need to bring swift justice to those involved. I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the officers injured, and for the continued safety of all law enforcement officers who protect our communities.”
Fellow police officers were seen overnight coming and leaving from the hospital where their colleagues were recovering.
“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirt bags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families,” said Joseph Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officer’s Union. “Enough is enough.”
Follow the Houston Police Department’s tweets for immediate updates.