Criminal Justice

Armed Man Shot And Killed By Off-Duty HPD Sergeant On Downtown Bus, Police Say

The sergeant, who was commuting home after his shift, was not wearing a body camera at the time, Chief Art Acevedo said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo updates the public on a police shooting outside the METRO administrative building in downtown Houston, Aug. 4, 2020.

Updated 4:56 p.m. CT

An off-duty police sergeant shot and killed an armed man on a METRO bus downtown Tuesday after the unidentified man allegedly stole a security guard’s gun, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Tuesday.

Police say the man beat up and robbed an armed, uniformed security guard and stole her 9mm pistol about 2 p.m. Tuesday, before fleeing toward the METRO administration building near 1900 Travis St.

The scene of a police shooting outside near Pierce and Travis streets on Aug. 4, 2020.

The security guard flagged a uniformed off-duty HPD sergeant who was commuting home after his shift, Acevedo said.

The sergeant encountered the allegedly armed man on a nearby bus, and told him to put his hands up, Acevedo said. He refused, and allegedly pointed the gun at the sergeant, who shot and killed him, according to Acevedo.

The sergeant did not have a radio and was not wearing a body camera at the time, but Acevedo said HPD’s internal affairs unit, the special investigations unit and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office would review video from the bus and nearby building cameras.

The sergeant, who is 45, is an HPD veteran of 18 years, and was assigned to the homeland security marine port patrol unit, Acevedo said. He had just dropped off his personal vehicle at a nearby dealer for service when he was flagged down.

He is being placed on administrative duty while the shooting is under investigation.

In addition to the officer and alleged shooter, there were three passengers on the bus — two men and one woman — as well as the bus driver, who is a woman, Acevedo said. All exited the bus when the man boarded.

The security guard complained of rib pain, and was treated by EMTs. No one else was harmed, Acevedo said.

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Paul DeBenedetto

Senior Producer

Paul DeBenedetto is Houston Public Media's senior web producer, writing and editing stories for HoustonPublicMedia.org. Before joining the station, Paul worked as a web producer for the Houston Chronicle, and his work has appeared online and in print for the Chronicle, the New York Times, DNAinfo New York, and other...

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