Officer Killed, 3 Wounded After Shooting at Houston Apartment Complex

Second officer, teenager and suspected gunman injured in exchange of gunfire Tuesday

shooting investigation

A longtime Houston police officer was killed and a second officer, a teenager and the suspected gunman were all wounded during a gun battle over domestic property Tuesday morning, police say.

Acevedo said officers arrived at the apartment in southwest Houston at about 8 a.m. Tuesday where they met a woman who said she was moving out and needed to retrieve her belongings, but that her estranged husband would not let her in their apartment.

Officials said the woman had tried to retrieve her property twice before over the weekend, with the assistance of police, but that there was no one home.

About an hour and a half later, the woman's 14-year-old son opened the apartment door and saw 51-year-old Elmer Manzano holding a gun. He told police the man was armed and it was then that Manzano allegedly came outside and began shooting at the officers, Acevedo said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

shooting investigation
Houston police investigate after two police officers are reportedly shot Tuesday morning, Oct. 20, 2020.

Sgt. Harold Preston, a four-decade veteran of the force, was shot multiple times in the head and shoulder, Acevedo said. Paramedics rushed Preston to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center where he later died.

Meanwhile, SWAT officers surrounded the apartment building and Manzano eventually surrendered at about 10:30 a.m. without further incident, Acevedo said.

Acevedo said Preston was a 41-year veteran of the department and was a hero.

I'm not calling him a hero because of the way he died today, but he is a hero. He's a guy that's in his 60s … and he's leading from where we want our sergeants to lead, from the front. He's leading men and women on the streets instead of from the office drinking coffee," Acevedo said."

Acevedo said doctors were able to keep Preston alive long enough for his fiancée, ex-wife, daughter and others to arrive at the hospital. Preston, Acevedo said, lived with and took care of his elderly parents, whom the chief said he knew personally.

"As good as he was as a cop, he was a better human being. That's just the guy that he was and we're going to miss him," Acevedo said.

Officer Courtney Waller was shot in the arm and is in stable condition at a hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Manzano and the 14-year-old were also shot and are expected to survive. Acevedo said he expects Manzano to be charged with murder and that police have repeatedly responded to domestic calls at the home.

Acevedo said Manzano has an extensive criminal history, but declined to provide details.

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