HPD Officer Kills Man In Northeast Houston

DeathCrimeAssaultCrime, Law and JusticeKerry Robinson

An off-duty Houston Police officer shot and killed a man following a domestic dispute at an apartment complex in Kingwood Saturday evening.

It happened on the 2100 block of Lake Hills at the Woodland Hills Village Apartment Homes just after 10 o'clock.

Houston Police said Officer Ryan Gardiner was finishing up his rounds as a courtesy officer for the apartment complex when he overheard an argument in the parking lot. Gardiner told investigators he saw the suspect, John Barnes, arguing with a woman. He said when he asked Barnes to step away the 39-year-old became enraged.

"At some point, the officer and the suspect get into a physical struggle," said Houston police spokesperson Victor Senties. "The suspect manages to get the officer's Taser out from his holster, points it at the officer and tells him, "Your dead."

Senties said Gardiner fired off several rounds, but could not specify the exact number of shots.Witnesses told 39News they heard six to seven gunshots.

"I was sitting watching when I heard the gunshot, I ducked down next thing you know the law and everything popped up. I didn't know anyone was shot," said Kerry Robinson. He was at the complex visiting his cousin at the time.

Houston Police said Gardiner is a seven-year veteran of the department and patrols the northeast side. He was off duty at the time off the shooting, but was working a second job as a security officer at the apartment complex he also calls home.

"I could not believe it. The neighborhood is so quite now it's just hard to believe something like that happened," said resident Reva Wofford.

Kristin Lucenti was acquainted with Barnes. She said she last saw him on Thursday when he visited the community pool with his stepdaughter.

"He was quite. He was playing with all the kids. The kids were squirting him with the water gun - real nice guy," said Lucenti.

Neighbors said co-workers of Barnes were planning on setting up a makeshift memorial for the wrecker driver.

Police said the woman Barnes was arguing with was not injured. They did not divulge her relationship to Barnes.

Officer Gardiner has been placed on three days administrative duty as is standard with officer-involved shootings.

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