Police say a 26-year-old man went on a robbery/shooting spree Sunday night that began in Kingwood around 8 p.m., and ended in a shootout with police in Porter a short time later. All three robberies occurred on Loop 494.
Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said officers were first dispatched to a robbery in progress with shots fired at Stop-N-Gas, located at 22325 Loop 494 in Kingwood, which is HPD’s jurisdiction. The caller provided a description of the vehicle and the license plate.
While responding to the first robbery, officers learned of a second robbery at a Citgo located at 24551 Loop 494 in the El Rancho shopping center just north of Northpark. . A third robbery followed shortly thereafter at a gas station located at 27434 Loop 494 at the W. Martin intersection.
Cannon said a patrol officer who heard the “attempt to locate” broadcast happened to be driving past the third store at the time of the robbery and heard gunfire, then saw the suspect emerge from the store and get into his vehicle.
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The officer pursued the suspect, who Cannon said pulled into a Shell gas station and fired shots at the patrol vehicle, striking the front bumper before pulling back onto the roadway and continuing to flee for five to 10 miles.
After reaching Porter, the suspect lost control of his vehicle and struck a sign, which disabled the vehicle. By then, additional officers were involved and all of them took cover behind their patrol vehicles. Cannon said the suspect repeatedly ignored officers’ commands to show hands and step out of the vehicle. The officers heard a shot fired and did not know if the suspect shot himself or was shooting at them. He then emerged from the vehicle holding his pistol, Cannon said. Fearing for their safety, the HPD officers fired their weapons. The suspect was hit by at least one bullet in the arm, sustaining non-life threatening injuries, Cannon said. He was transported to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston by MCHD. After the shooting Porter Fire Department who responded to assist the medic unit remained on the scene for lighting and to provide a ladder truck for investigators to photograph the entire scene from overhead.
The HPD officers, Sgt. Peter Morales, a 16 year veteran; Sr. Officer Shelby McDonald, an 18 year veteran, and Chad Nichols, a 6 year veteran will be placed on three days administrative duty, Cannon said, which is customary and is not a punishment but for their own well-being. They will have psychiatric service personnel available if needed, he said.
The suspect faces numerous charges including aggravated robbery. Cannon said police were aware of the three robberies cited, but there may be others.
FM 1314 was closed from the time of the incident until 430am as the investigation continued. Most traffic was diverted at Gene Campbell to FM 1485.
HPD is assisting the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers in their investigation along with the Montgomery County District Attorney.
Cannon said the suspect fired shots during all three robberies and citizens were present at each location, so it was very fortunate no one was hurt.
He was believed to be working alone, Cannon said. As of this writing, the amount of money taken was unavailable and the suspect’s name will be provided later today.
If the vehicle looks familiar in connection to other crimes, HPD is asking people to call their homicide division at (713)308-3600. Montgomery County residents can call the Sheriff’s Office at (936) 760-5871.
Video will be posted later…