A Houston police officer shot and killed a man suspected of shooting three other people, identified by authorities as a family member and friends, Friday afternoon in Independence Heights.
Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said a 32-year-old male shot his 23-year-old brother “without provocation or warning” after being dropped off at his sister’s home in the 200 block of West 44th Street at about 4:30 p.m., then shot two friends who arrived at the scene. Acevedo said the suspect later wrestled with his sister over his semiautomatic pistol, which he then used to fire at a pickup truck driving down Yale Street.
Upon walking to the 100 block of East 44th Street, Acevedo said the suspect was fatally shot by an HPD officer after refusing commands to drop his weapon and threatening the officer.
Acevedo said no officers were injured, nor was the driver of the truck. He said the suspect’s brother was transported to Ben Taub Hospital. The other two victims, who Acevedo identified as 30- and 17-year-old males, were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center.
“We believe they hopefully will all survive,” Acevedo said from the scene at about 7 p.m. “Our hearts go out to the suspect’s family. We’re not going to identify him at this time. But it’s a sad, sad, sad way to start the year.”
According to reports by the Houston Chronicle and KHOU Channel 11, the officer who shot the suspect is HPD rookie Joshua Sheen.
Floyd Carruthers, who said he was the deceased suspect’s cousin, identified him as Lawrence Thompson.
“I’m just shocked,” Carruthers said.
Carruthers was one of several people gathered at what Acevedo called a “multi-block scene” that included HPD’s special investigations and internal affairs units as well as the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences and Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Authorities blocked off sections of 44th Street on the east and west sides of Yale.
While Acevedo addressed reporters, a nearby woman yelled, “Y’all killed my brother and y’all lying.”
Acevedo, while expressing sympathy for the suspect’s family, said he had viewed footage from the officer’s body camera and commended his actions and training.
“This community got to watch a man lose his mind for whatever reason and just start shooting people,” Acevedo said. “He shot three people. He shot a passing car that we don’t think there’s any connection to him. We just thank God that no innocent life was lost.”