Two Houston police officers were shot and wounded in the backyard of a southwest Houston residence Tuesday around 12:30 p.m. The officers were responding to a burglary-in-progress call when a suspect opened fire on them. A gunfight ensued, the two officers were wounded, 1 critically, and the suspect was killed. A second suspect is at large.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said one of the officers lives in the neighborhood called Sterlingame and was apparently the first to respond. Turner said the suspects had several stolen guns and they opened fire on the officers when they approached a backyard shed.
Two ambulances, escorted by several HPD units, rushed both injured officers to the Texas Medical Center, KHOU TV reports.
Officer Ronnie Cortez is in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital with several gunshot wounds. One bullet is lodged near his spine, according to the mayor. Turner said Cortez's wife is at his side and he was able to speak with her. The couple have a college-age daughter who was out of town but she is being flown back to Houston. Cortez is a 24-year veteran.
Officer Jose Munoz is at Ben Taub Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Another bullet grazed him in the back. His injuries are not life-threatening, the mayor said. His wife is also at his side and both are in good spirits, according to the Police Chief Art Acevedo. Munoz is a 10-year veteran.
Police believe the second suspect is still hiding out in the neighborhood. He is described as Hispanic, dressed in all black with a blue bandana.