Nassau Bay, TX – Nassau Bay Police Department (NBPD) Sergeant Kaila Sullivan was murdered in the line of duty on Tuesday night, when a fleeing suspect hit her with his vehicle.
The incident occurred in the 2000-block of San Sebastian Court at approximately 8:30 p.m., as Sgt. Sullivan, 43, and another NBPD officer were attempting to arrest a domestic violence suspect during a traffic stop, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The 21-year-old suspect – later identified as Tavores Dewayne Henderson – had an active warrant for domestic violence out of Harris County, WFAA reported.
But as police were handcuffing him, Henderson went on the fight and managed to get away from the officers.
He then ran back to his Jeep and floored the accelerator, slamming his vehicle into Sgt. Sullivan as he fled the scene.
Sgt. Sullivan was rushed to HCA-Houston Clear Lake Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Police later discovered the suspect’s abandoned Jeep in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex, according to WFAA.
A massive search for Sgt. Sullivan’s killer led police to the Henderson’s mother’s home in Houston early Wednesday morning, the Houston Chronicle reported.
He was believed to be holed up inside the residence, but was not located when SWAT officers forced entry, the city said in a press release at approximately 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
Henderson remains on the loose.
He may have a set of handcuffs dangling from one wrist, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters.
A charge of felony murder has been filed against him, KTRK reported.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is leading the ongoing investigation into the incident, with the assistance of the Webster Police Department.
“This a nightmare scenario for our city,” Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “The first time an officer has ever been seriously injured, much less killed in the line of duty. We’re a very safe city. We’ll catch the suspect.”
Sgt. Sullivan would have celebrated her 16th anniversary with the NBPD on Dec. 27, Nassau Bay Police Chief Tim Cromie said during a press conference.
Chief Cromie said that Sgt. Sullivan was “a police officer at heart,” and that she was always a “consummate professional.”
“Her blood ran blue,” the chief added.
She served the department as a night shift sergeant, and was also in charge of the agency’s training schedule.
“She’s going to be deeply missed by the department, by the officers, and by the community,” Chief Cromie told reporters.
Sgt. Sullivan was also the national president of the Sisters Eternal Woman’s Motorcycle Club of Texas.
“Kaila was a natural leader, both at work and in the MC community,” the group said in a Facebook post early Wednesday morning. “She was wise beyond her years and we all wish we had more time with her. She is already sorely missed. We will honor her memory every day.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Nassau Bay Police Department Sergeant Kaila Sullivan, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Kaila Sullivan, your life mattered.