Slain HPD sergeant’s vest may have been penetrated: chief

Police are now looking into whether the rounds shot by the suspect were designed to pierce bulletproof vests.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A bulletproof vest worn by slain Houston police Sgt. Christopher Brewster was “potentially penetrated” when he responded to a domestic disturbance call, according to HPD Chief Art Acevedo.

The Houston Police Department disclosed the preliminary finding Monday night, hours after the chief and Brewster colleagues accompanied Brewster’s casket to a funeral home.

In a tweet, HPD posted a message sent to officers and attributed to Acevedo.

“During the initial stages of our investigation regarding the Capital Murder of Sergeant Christopher Brewster, we have learned that his department-issued bullet proof vest was potentially penetrated by one or more of the rounds fired by the suspect,” the statement read.

Acevedo continued, “The discovery of the noted penetration will require expert analysis of the ammunition used by the suspect to determine if it was designed to penetrate ballistic vests.”

Acevedo added that Brewster department-issued vest will be examined for any possible defects.

Arturo Solis, 25, was charged with capital murder of a police officer in connection with Brewster’s death on Saturday. Police said Brewster was responding to a disturbance on Avenue I in Houston’s East End involving Solis and his girlfriend.

On Monday, a judge ordered Solis held without bond.

After HPD’s tweet went out, Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, expressed concern over the potential of failure in equipment.

“We’re extremely concerned. I think what’s important right now is we get to the bottom of this very, very quickly,” said Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officer’s Union. “We need to know if this was armored-piercing rounds being used by the suspect or if this was a failure of the vest, we need to know immediately. If this was just a problem with this vest or if this is a larger problem amongst several vests our officers might have on right now.”

Brewster, 32, was recently promoted to sergeant, and left behind a wife, parents and a sister.

The sergeant’s funeral is set for Thursday.

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