Houston police sergeant shot and killed; suspect in custody

National News

Houston Police Department officers stand by the scene of a shooting in Houston on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. A Houston police officer was shot Saturday evening and a suspect was being sought, authorities said. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via AP)

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HOUSTON (AP) — A suspect has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a Houston police officer who was responding to a domestic violence report, officials said Sunday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Sgt. Christopher Brewster’s death at a news conference late Saturday. Police officials said in a tweet that the 32-year-old officer was shot just before 6 p.m.

The suspected gunman, Arturo Solis, was arrested without incident following a search after the shooting, police said in a news release Sunday.

Court records do not list an attorney who could speak on Solis’ behalf, but list a Monday court date for him on the charge and show that he is being held without bond.

Solis’ father, Roberto Solis, told the Houston Chronicle his son is “going to have to pay for what he did,” adding that his son showed signs of mental illness as a teenager and had armed himself after someone broke into his home recently.

“He wasn’t a bad person,” Roberto Solis said. “A bunch of people didn’t treat him right.”

Efforts by The Associated Press to contact Roberto Solis on Sunday were unsuccessful.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at the news conference that police received a call from a female victim who said her boyfriend was assaulting her and that he was armed with two firearms. Police didn’t find the couple at the provided address, but Brewster spotted them three streets away on Houston’s east side.

Brewster had got out of his patrol vehicle and was walking toward the woman when she pointed in the direction of the suspect, Solis, the release said. As Brewster turned toward him, Solis opened fire and shot him multiple times

Acevedo said the sergeant managed to relay a description of the shooter.

“Although he was mortally wounded, he had the presence of mind to draw his pistol out of his holster to protect himself in case the suspect came up and he also had the presence of mind and courage to put out and broadcast suspect information that was critical for the responding units,” Acevedo said.

Brewster died about half an hour after the shooting, which Acevedo said was captured on body cameras. Acevedo initially said Brewster wasn’t wearing his vest, but later confirmed that the officer was.

“What people will see is a coward who took the life of a hero,” Acevedo said.

Solis fled on foot, and responding officers saw him jumping fences, the police chief said. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol when he was captured at a school, according to Acevedo, who later tweeted that police recovered both firearms and other evidence discarded by the suspect.

He is charged with capital murder of a police officer.

The woman who called police was not hurt and is cooperating with the investigation, Acevedo said.

Turner said Gov. Greg Abbott had called and expressed condolences for Brewster’s family. The governor also tweeted about the shooting, saying “Tonight & Every Night we Back The Blue in Houston & across Texas.”

Just hours after Brewster’s death, a police officer in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was shot and killed outside the police department there. The suspect in that shooting was fatally shot by responding officers.

The Houston police chief said Brewster graduated from the police academy in 2010 and was promoted to sergeant in February. He’s survived by his wife, parents and sisters.

“We’re the Houston Police Department,” Acevedo said before invoking the loss of Sgt. Steve Perez, who drowned in the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. “We pause, we pray and we drive forward.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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