Sergeant who sustained knee injury during shooting released from hospital
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Two Houston police officers remain in the hospital Friday, after being injured in Monday's shootout at a southeast Houston home.
On Friday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the sergeant who sustained a knee injury was released from the hospital.
The chief said the two officers with the most serious wounds are stable but have a long road for recovery. He asks for continued prayers for all impacted and their families.
A 33-year-old officer who was shot in the shoulder was discharged Monday, and a 50-year-old police veteran who was shot in the face was discharged Tuesday afternoon.
The undercover narcotics officers were attempting to serve a search warrant on Harding Street near Berkley Street just before 5 p.m. Monday.
The first officer in the house got hit and then bullets started flying.
The 54-year-old officer leading the operation stormed in and got hit too. It was his third time being shot during his 32 years on the job.
"I'm just gonna say it. He just passed a note to one of us and it said, 'I had to get in there. I knew my guys were down.' And that speaks volumes to this man and his courage under fire," said Chief Acevedo.
All five of the injured narcotics officers were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital - Texas Medical Center, at least two of them were transported by Life Flight medical helicopter. Four officers suffered gunshot wounds and another suffered a knee injury.
Houston police have confirmed that two suspects died at the crime scene. Police identified the married suspects as Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59. Police say Tuttle fired at officers and Nicholas tried to grab an officer's gun.
The suspects' quick reactions make some believe they knew police were coming.
"A lot of these drug houses have surveilance systems that are better than other businesses," said Acevedo.
He declined to identify the injured officers, but Acevedo did offer the following information on their years of service and condition:
- A 50-year-old, 25-year veteran, who was shot in the face was discharged on Tuesday afternoon.
- A 50-year-old, 27-year veteran, who suffered a serious knee injury and needed surgery, was released on Friday.
- A 54-year-old, 32-year veteran, is in serious condition and was shot in the line of duty before in 1992 and 1997.
- A 33-year-old, 10-year veteran was shot in the shoulder and has been discharged.
- A 40-year-old, 9-year veteran, is in serious condition.
Chief Acevedo says the undercover narcotics officers went to the home on Harding after previously purchasing black tar heroin there. Authorities say black tar heroin was not found inside the house, but they did find rifles, shotguns, pistols, as well as marijuana and a white powder that could be cocaine or fentanyl.
Mayor Turner visited the hospitalized officers on Tuesday, and says this underscores the need for tougher laws and more cops.
"We need more police officers. There is no question about that," said Mayor Turner. "We have 5,200 police officers for 640-square miles."
He says we need 600 more officers.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released the following statement on Monday regarding the shooting:
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.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released the following statement on Monday night regarding the shooting:
I am deeply troubled to learn that five Houston police officers have been wounded in the line of duty this evening. The thoughts and prayers of countless Texans are with the officers, their families, and the Houston Police Department. May this tragic event serve as a reminder of the courage with which law enforcement officials serve each day.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee released the following statement on Monday night regarding the shooting:
My thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officers and the members of the Houston Police Department on this terrible day. The senseless shooting of five of Houston’s finest and bravest early this evening is a tragedy and another reminder of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep their communities safe.
Thanks to the swift and professional police work of the Houston Police Department, two of the persons perpetrating this heinous crime have been neutralized and another is being apprehended.
I hope the families of the victims take comfort in the knowledge that everyone in our community is praying for speedy and complete recovery of each of the officers wounded in this tragedy.