Authorities investigating after Houston police officer fatally shoots man over alleged ‘threatening’ behavior

The 46-year-old man who died at a relative’s home in the Denver Harbor area was combative with responding officers, according to police.

Houston Police Department SUV
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Pictured is a Houston Police Department vehicle.

A multi-agency investigation is underway after a Houston police officer shot and killed a man Wednesday who allegedly was exhibiting erratic, threatening behavior at the home of a relative.

The Houston Police Department officer who shot the 46-year-old man, along with another officer who was inside the home at 413 Rouse St. in the Denver Harbor area, both have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation that includes HPD's internal affairs and homicide divisions along with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, according to HPD Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite. He told reporters at the scene Wednesday that involved officers' body-worn camera footage would be released in 30 days, per an HPD policy.

Satterwhite said HPD received a call from the man's brother at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and was told the man was "acting incredibly erratic, was threatening the neighbors and was possibly intoxicated and also possibly on some type of narcotic substance." Police arrived within about 15 minutes and confronted the man near the front door of the house, with Satterwhite saying the man continued to be combative and threatening, so officers used a stun gun in an attempt to subdue the man.

"The male was unaffected by the Taser darts, pulling them out, and moved further in toward the kitchen of the house after having said he was going to get his gun," Satterwhite said. "Officers then witnessed him going to the kitchen, and reportedly the male reached for something and then came up, and one of the officers did fire several rounds, striking the male, and the male did go down to the floor there."

The identify of the man who was shot, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter, had not been released as of early Thursday afternoon by the Harris County medical examiner's office, which has cited the man's time of death as 2:14 p.m. Wednesday.

Satterwhite said at the scene that officers did not find or attempt to find a gun or other weapon near the man in the immediate aftermath of his shooting, adding that a forensic unit would do that as it processed the scene. He also said it appeared that the man did not have a documented history of mental illness and that HPD had not received previous calls for service from that address.

The man lived nearby and was at a relative's house when he was shot by police, Satterwhite said.

HPD spokesperson Jodi Silva said Thursday the department would not release any more details about the shooting until the investigation is complete.

The incident happened across the street from Eliot Elementary School around the time students were being let out for the day, prompting the school to go on a temporary lockdown, according to Satterwhite. He said the man was shot by officers "not that long after" police arrived at the scene at about 1:45 p.m.

"It was only minutes after we arrived," Satterwhite said. "They met him out front at the door and spent a lot of time trying to – I know that's relative, a lot – several minutes trying to deescalate. He was resistant to all of that and combative.

"Our goal is always to resolve these situations peacefully with no loss of life," he added. "This is very unfortunate."