Houston Shooting Leaves One Deputy Dead, Two Others Injured
One deputy who was shot in the back was in stable condition, but the long-term impact of his wounds remained unclear.,
One Texas deputy was killed and two others were injured in an early-morning shooting outside a Houston bar, law enforcement officials said at a news conference on Saturday.
Just after 2 a.m., three deputies with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office working at the 45 Norte Sports Bar, about five miles north of downtown Houston, were informed by a witness about a possible robbery in the parking lot, according to a post on the Facebook page of Mark Herman, the elected constable for Precinct 4.
Two of the deputies were detaining one man when a second suspect shot them from behind a vehicle with an AR-15 rifle, according to posts on the constable’s Facebook page. The third deputy rushed to the scene and was shot immediately.
The officer killed in the shooting, Deputy Kareem Atkins, was 30 years old and had recently returned to work after paternity leave. His wife had a child six months ago. He had been employed at the precinct since January 2019.
Another officer who was shot, Deputy Darryl Garrett, 28, was struck in the back. He underwent surgery on Saturday and was in stable condition.
Deputy Juqaim Barthen, 26, who arrived at the scene last, was shot in the leg. At the news conference early on Saturday, Mr. Herman said that Mr. Barthen was preparing to have surgery.
One person was in custody, said James Jones, executive assistant chief of the Houston Police Department, at the early morning news conference: “We’re not sure if that is a witness or a suspect. There is still a lot of investigation to be done.”
That person was “close to the scene,” said Mr. Jones, who added that “we believe they were ambushed.”
The three deputies were “best friends” who were working off-duty jobs, according to Mr. Garrett’s fiancee, Lajah Richardson, 27.
“They called each other brothers,” Ms. Richardson said by phone as she sat in the waiting room at Memorial Hermann Hospital in downtown Houston on Saturday afternoon. She said the three men had worked together at the bar to bring in extra money.
The couple had been at a Halloween movie party at a friend’s house earlier in the night before Mr. Garrett headed to work. A few hours later, Ms. Richardson said she got a call from an officer saying that Mr. Garrett had been shot just minutes before. She and her 8-year-old daughter were on their way to the hospital when she got another call letting her know that Mr. Atkins had been pronounced dead at the scene.
Ms. Richardson said that the long-term effects of Mr. Garrett’s wounds were still unclear. He had both of his kidneys removed, and a bullet fragment touched his spine, meaning that he might be paralyzed, she added.
“It’s going to be a long process,” said Ms. Richardson, who became engaged to Mr. Garrett on Oct. 2, when he proposed to her at his 28th birthday party. “I’m still in shock. I’m still in disbelief. I just can’t believe I’m even seeing him like this.”
A manhunt was underway on Saturday for the shooter, according to a tweet from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “I hope these perpetrators are apprehended fast,” he wrote.
Mr. Atkins’s body was transported to the Harris County medical examiner’s office on Saturday, as a line of law enforcement officers gathered to salute him.
Mr. Herman said he met with Mr. Atkins’s father and wife at the hospital on Saturday morning, a visit he described as “probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my career.”
“What happened tonight was evil,” Mr. Herman said. “And now the good is going to sweep in, and I hope for swift justice.”