Crime

Spring Branch ISD police officer fatally shoots man suspected of killing his father before stealing cars outside elementary school

A man suspected of fatally shooting his father on Thursday in the 2500 block of Mona Lee Lane was subsequently shot and killed by a school district police officer in the 2800 block of Campbell Road, after allegedly stealing two cars outside of Buffalo Creek Elementary.

HPD Spring Branch ISD Officer-Involved Shooting
Houston Police Department
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, left, and Spring Branch ISD Police Department Chief Larry Baimbridge, right, speak about two fatal shootings on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023.

A police officer for a Houston-area school district shot and killed a man Thursday who allegedly stole two vehicles outside an elementary school after murdering his father at a nearby home.

A 12-year veteran of the Spring Branch ISD Police Department acted in self-defense when he fatally shot the suspected murderer and carjacker, estimated to be about 30 years old, at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the 2800 block of Campbell Road, according to school district police chief Larry Baimbridge. He said the officer pursued the now-deceased man after he unsuccessfully tried to carjack a woman who was dropping off her children at nearby Buffalo Creek Elementary, subsequently stealing another car and sideswiping several other vehicles and a school bus during a brief chase.

Baimbridge said the man then walked into a nearby intersection and stole a second vehicle, which he drove to a dead end behind a business on Campbell Road. The man continued to be followed by the Spring Branch ISD police officer and fired one gunshot at the officer, according to Baimbridge, who said the officer then fired multiple shots in return and fatally struck the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

"What we do know about the suspect – I'm obviously not going to release his name – but he has a very lengthy criminal history and in all likelihood should have been in prison," Baimbridge said. "Instead he's out walking the streets, committing crimes. As a result, many lives are damaged. Obviously his father is dead."

At about 7:10 a.m. – roughly 10 minutes before a disturbance was reported at the elementary school – Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the department received a call from a woman who said she heard a gunshot after her son had showed up to her home in the 2500 block of Mona Lee Lane and gotten into an argument with his father. The woman's son was the same man who later was fatally shot by the school district police officer, according to Finner, who said Houston Police Department officers arrived at the home to find the man's father dead.

The home on Mona Lee Lane is less than 1 mile from Buffalo Creek Elementary, which is located in the 2800 block of Blalock Road. Baimbridge said the man who allegedly killed his father may have tried to enter the school before allegedly stealing the vehicles outside of the campus, where the building's entrances were locked during the incident. Baimbridge said it did not appear the man had any connections to the school.

None of the carjacking victims were injured, according to Finner, including the woman who was dropping off her kids. The Spring Branch ISD police officer also was not injured, Baimbridge said.

"This could have been a much, much more dangerous situation had not our officer been on scene and handled it as well as he did," Baimbridge said. "I'm very proud of him."

Baimbridge did not identify the school district police officer by name. A spokesperson for HPD said Thursday afternoon the department did not yet have additional details to release, beyond those provided by Finner during a morning news conference, including the names and ages of the men who died.

Finner expressed empathy for the woman on Mona Lee Lane whose husband and son both died Thursday morning, adding that HPD would offer her victim support services before trying to obtain more information from her about the initial shooting and what led to it.

"I can imagine that mother is in crisis right now," Finner said. "... Prayers for everybody involved. This is tough. It's close to the holiday season. We've got (carjacking) victims that had nothing to do with this. Just pray for their psyche right now."