Houston, TX – A one-year-old boy was shot late on Wednesday night when a Houston police officer opened fire on an armed carjacker that was trying to steal a woman’s car with her child in it.
The incident occurred at about 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 when a suspect in a string of aggravated robberies ran from police and wrecked his car at a Chevron gas station at Beechnut and Southwest Freeway, KUHT reported.
Officers had been chasing the black Mercedes suspected in two aggravated robberies for about three miles when it crashed, KTRK reported.
Police said the suspect got out of his crashed vehicle at the gas station with a gun.
Then he jumped into the vehicle of a woman who was pumping gas and tried to flee, KUHT reported.
The woman’s one-year-old baby boy was in the backseat of the vehicle.
Surveillance video from the gas station showed that officers surrounded the carjacked vehicle, KUHT reported.
Houston Police Assistant Chief Troy Finner said officers feared the suspect might hurt the woman or the baby.
“They gave the suspect commands to drop the gun, he refused,” Chief Finner said. “One of our officers, a 15-year veteran out of Midwest Division, fired several shots.”
Officers administered first aid to the suspect and the baby at the scene, KUHT reported.
The baby was transported to the hospital in stable condition.
Video from the scene showed the baby awake and alert with a bandage on its head, KTRK reported.
The would-be carjacker died at the scene, according to KUHT.
Police have not released the identity of the carjacker pending identification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
“The most important thing right here, for our entire city, pray for this 1-year-old and that mother,” Chief Finner said, according to KTRK.
“Can you imagine?” he asked. “She’s pumping gas, she’s probably coming from work or whatever, wherever she was going, and have to go through this.”
He said the officer who wounded the baby was “deeply concerned and hurt” what had happened, KUHT reported.
The officer is a 15-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, KTRK reported.
“They showed up tonight, him and his partner and the other officers who were out here on the scene, to protect lives, not to hurt anybody,” Chief Finner said.
HPD commanders & investigators are headed to an officer involved shooting at SW Freeway & Beechnut. Officers were pursuing a carjacking suspect when the armed suspect crashed & fled the vehicle about 11:30 pm. The suspect is in a unknown condition. #hounews pic.twitter.com/H7yvYTpeRl
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) March 4, 2021
The officer was placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, KUHT reported.
The Houston Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, Special Investigations Unit, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Officer were investigation the incident.