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Houston Cop Tackles Man With Rifle Outside Child Dance Competition In Mall, Thwarting Possible Mass Shooting

Houston, TX – Authorities have just begun releasing the details of a thwarted mass shooting at a mall in February that was stopped by a brave Houston police sergeant.

The incident occurred at the Galleria shopping center on Feb. 5 when Houston Police Sergeant Kendrick Simpo was working security for the mall off-duty, KTRK reported.

Sgt. Simpo is assigned to the Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Victim Services Division.

The sergeant told KTRK that on the day of the incident, a call came over his radio that someone had reported a man with a gun near Macy’s.

Sgt. Simpo said that he and a mall security guard quickly walked in the direction of the reported gunman, but he did not draw his weapon because he didn’t want to frighten mall patrons.

“I did know there was a dance competition with little kids going on at the Westin Ballroom, so I didn’t pull my weapon out because I didn’t want to be running towards the Macy’s area, which is past the ballroom area, with the gun out and startle anyone,” he told KTRK.

The 20-year veteran of the Houston police said he was wearing a regular ballistic vest and carrying his duty pistol in his holster as he approached the scene.

“I knew if a person did have a rifle and they were inside the mall, I was pretty much outnumbered, because all I had was a handgun at the time. My handgun and his rifle, I was already at a disadvantage,” he explained.

Sgt. Simpo said he spotted the would-be gunman, Guido Herrera, near the Westin ballroom’s entrance, just a few feet away from hundreds of children, KTRK reported.

Police said Herrera was wearing a shirt with the Punisher logo and a leather mask with spikes.

He carried a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other, according to the brave sergeant.

“I quickly bum-rushed, tackled him,” Sgt. Simpo told KTRK. “And my first reaction was to make sure that I get a hold of the rifle. No matter what I grabbed, make sure I grabbed that rifle.”

“I had in my mind [that] I was going to get shot,” he continued. “I just had to bear the pain, I knew it was going to hurt, and I was like, ‘Whatever I do, I cannot let go of this rifle.'”

Sgt. Simpo said he never considered waiting for help to stop the gunman, KTRK reported.

“I definitely know what I signed up for 20 years ago when I got into this profession,” he said.

The sergeant tackled Herrera and was able to redirect the gunman’s rifle at the ceiling and pin the suspect against the wall, KTRK reported.

Police arrived quickly and took the would-be active shooter into custody.

No shots were fired during the incident, KTRK reported.

Police found Herrera was also carrying a handgun and 120 rounds of ammunition when he was apprehended.

He was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor because he didn’t actually commit a felony on under Texas law, according to KTRK.

Herrera was released from custody but arrested again on March 18 after he showed up at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Houston office asking to meet with the director of the agency.

Police said he had a gun in his car that time but didn’t shoot at anyone so he was once again charged with a misdemeanor, KTRK reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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