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UPDATE: Houston Police Identify Officers Involved In Deadly Helicopter Crash

The helicopter went down around 2 a.m. and clipped the side of an apartment clubhouse.

Officer Jason Knox died early Saturday morning on May 2 when his HPD helicopter crashed.

UPDATE: Houston Police have identified Jason Knox as the flight tactical officer who died and Chase Cormier as the injured pilot. On Sunday, a spokesperson for Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center said Cormier was upgraded from critical condition to serious condition following surgery.  

A Houston Police officer is dead and another critically injured after a helicopter crash in the Greenspoint area early Saturday morning.

The two officers were aboard the HPD helicopter identified as 75 Fox looking into reports of dead bodies in a nearby bayou.

The helicopter went down around 2 a.m. and clipped the side of an apartment clubhouse. Police Chief Art Acevedo called it a silver lining and a miracle that the officers managed to avoid any occupied buildings during the crash. No one else was injured.

“If that aircraft would have crashed into a occupied building, who knows, it would have been a very ugly scene,” Acevdeo said.  

It took Houston firefighters about an hour to cut through the mangled wreckage and get to the officers. Acevedo said firefighters did a “phenomenal” job rescuing the officers without the craft erupting into flames. 

The flight’s tactical officer Jason Knox was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann hospital but died of his injuries. Knox’s body was escorted to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences by a caravan of police cars.

Knox is survived by his two children and wife. His father is Houston City Council member Mike Knox, a retired Houston Police officer.

Council member Knox and his family released the following statement to media outlets

“My wife, Helen, and I and Jason’s wife, Keira, are deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our Houston community. We celebrate all Jason embodied as a committed HPD officer and pilot who fully embraced his job and we celebrate Jason as he was outside of his work – a devoted husband, a loving father and our only son whom we cherished every day. Where there is great love, there is great loss. We love Jason with all of our hearts, as we always have, and we will keep all that he is alive for his children. As believers, we know Jason is in the loving arms of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We appreciate the privacy you have given us and continue to provide as we walk this road we would never wish for anyone, but that we now accept as ours.” 

The Houston Police Officers’ Union is urging people to donate to the Knox family through Assist The Officer Houston.

The pilot of 75 Fox, Senior Police Officer Chase Cormier, was critically injured and was still in surgery hours after the crash. As of 3 p.m. Saturday, Cormier was said to be out of surgery and conscious having sustained “severe injuries,” according to the police chief.  

Chief Acevedo said HPD will suspend its flight operations as investigations into the incident continue. 

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate. Houston Police will also launch a criminal homicide investigation.

Multiple gunshots were reported in the area Saturday morning around 3 a.m. and six people were taken into custody.

Acevedo said there was so far no indication the helicopter was a target, but vowed investigators would leave “no stone unturned.”

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Davis Land

Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is Houston Public Media's senior news producer. He leads coverage for News 88.7's morning newscasts and coordinates between beat reporters, newscasters, and the Houston Matters team. Before joining Houston Public Media, Land produced for WBUR's newscast unit and Atlantic Public Media. His work has been heard on NPR's...

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