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Suspect in custody after wounding three Houston officers

Authorities investigate the scene of a shooting in Houston.
Authorities investigate the scene of a shooting Thursday in Houston.
(Jon Shapley / Associated Press)
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A suspect led Houston police on a chase Thursday that ended with him wounding three officers in a shootout, stealing a car and barricading himself inside a home for hours before surrendering, authorities said.

The incident began about 2:40 p.m. Thursday as officers responded to a family disturbance call at a home in northeast Houston, Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference.

All three of the injured officers were in stable condition after being taken to Memorial Hermann hospital.

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Two of the officers were transported in another patrol officer’s vehicle while the third was taken by the Houston Fire Department.

One of the officers was shot in the arm, another was shot in the leg and the third was shot in the foot, said Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

“We are just grateful to God they are all right,” Finner said.

Police had responded to a report of a shooting at the home of the suspect’s girlfriend, Griffith said.

When officers arrived, the suspect fled in a vehicle and led police on a chase for several miles.

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The chase ended when the suspect’s vehicle crashed at an intersection in a residential neighborhood just off Interstate 69 on the southeastern edge of downtown Houston, authorities said.

As the officers got out, “the suspect immediately fired upon officers, striking three officers.”

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“All the officers returned fire,” Finner said.

Finner said it’s possible the suspect fired more than 50 rounds. Officers described the gun the man used as “a fully automatic weapon,” he said.

The suspect fled the scene and carjacked at gunpoint a white Mercedes, Finner said. He then drove to a home several miles northeast of where the crash occurred.

Officers surrounded the home. The suspect fired multiple times but did not hit any of the officers, who returned fire, Finner said.

The suspect remained barricaded in the home, where police believe he lives, until about 7:45 p.m. Thursday, when he emerged with hands up, Finner said.

The man, whose identity police did not immediately release, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the neck, the chief said.

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The suspect was believed to be the only person in the home.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he visited the wounded officers, and they were talkative and in good spirits.

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Turner said Thursday’s shooting highlighted the dangers law enforcement face each day and the rising violent crime that has affected Houston and other U.S. cities the last couple of years.

Finner said it’s been “a tough week for law enforcement” in Houston.

On Sunday, a Houston-area deputy constable was fatally shot during a traffic stop, and early Monday a Harris County sheriff’s deputy was fatally struck by a vehicle as he stood by his motorcycle while blocking a Houston highway exit ramp during an off-duty job escorting heavy machinery. A Houston police dog was stabbed by a man after an attempted carjacking.

Turner said that he and Finner planned to announce next week “some additional steps” the city will take to address rising crime in Houston.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to have a very safe city,” the mayor said.

Lozano reported from Houston and Wallace reported from Dallas.

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