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Thread: Sgt. Harold Preston (65) of the Houston Police Department killed in a shooting, Elmer Manzano (51) Detained

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    Sgt. Harold Preston (65) of the Houston Police Department killed in a shooting, Elmer Manzano (51) Detained

    HOUSTON ? Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston died after he was wounded in a shooting at an apartment complex Tuesday morning. He was one of two officers shot during a domestic disturbance call.

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Sgt. Preston, 65, suffered multiple head wounds during the shooting. He was also shot in the spine.

    The chief said Sgt. Preston was surrounded by family before he succumbed to his injuries. He served as a police officer for 41 years.

    We lave lost a wonderful human being,? the police chief said.

    HPD Officer Courtney Waller has been identified as the other officer who was injured in the shooting. He was shot in the arm. The chief said Officer Waller is a twin.

    ?In the last week, we have lost two very good men... There?s some real evil in this world,? the police chief said. This is just days after the Houston Fire Department lost one of their own, Arson Investigator Lemuel Bruce.

    The suspect has been identified as Elmer Manzano, 51. Chief Acevedo said Manzano has a long criminal history, but did not elaborate.

    Manzano was shot in the abdomen and was transported to Ben Taub Hospital.

    The 14-year-old son of the suspect was also shot during the incident and was transported to Texas Children's Hospital, the chief said. He is expected to be OK.The police chief said it all started when HPD received a call just before 8 a.m. of a domestic disturbance with an unknown weapon in the 2600 block of Holly Hall.

    Officer Waller and Sgt. Preston -- as well as another officer -- responded to the scene. The officers met with complainant, who was the estranged wife of suspect.

    The officers talked with her in parking lot for about an hour. Acevedo said the woman wanted to get her belongings and move out.

    Acevedo said that just before 9:30 a.m. the suspect?s son opened the door with his keys to the apartment and told officers the suspect had a gun.

    He?s walking towards me. He says, ?man, get my gun. Get my gun,'" said Travis Bryant, who saw Officer Waller bleeding from his arm.

    LISTEN: 'We're coming to you' | Calls from scene where 2 HPD officers were shot describe chaos, severity of incident
    Bryant said he heard his fianc?e asking someone if they were okay. When he saw it was Officer Waller, he ran downstairs to help.

    Then a call was out out to assist the officers.

    ?That?s when everything got crazy. Officers started showing up with rifles. I told my fianc?e and she looks at me and she?s like, ?we need to get in the house,'" said Bryant.

    The responding officers were then able to remove Sgt. Preston and Officer Waller from the scene to be transported by an ambulance.

    A good Samaritan who was nearby heard the gunshots and assisted with helping pull the wounded officers out of the line of fire.

    Houston Police Officers Union President Joe Gamaldi tweeted that the wounded officers were taken to the hospital:

    "Two of our officers have been shot and being transported to the hospital, please keep them and all of our officers in your thoughts and prayers, we need them right now."

    From her balcony, Risha Johnson watched as Houston police surrounded her neighbor?s apartment.

    ?They told us actually to go back inside because it was escalating,? Johnson said.

    The suspect then surrendered just before 10:30 a.m., the chief said. An elderly female also came out of the apartment at that time.

    The Harris County District Attorney's Office says charges on Manzano are "imminent."

    ?This was crazy," said Bryant. "We thought it was going to be a random, normal Tuesday, and this just shook us.?

    Sgt. Preston was two weeks away from retirement, according to the police officers' union.

    Chief Acevedo said in a news conference on Tuesday that they would soon be planning his funeral.

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    HOUSTON — The estranged wife of the man in custody who is accused of shooting one Houston police officer to death and wounding another issued a statement one day after the deadly incident at an apartment complex on Holly Hall.

    She said if it wasn't for Sgt. Harold Preston's heroics, she would be dead.

    "I pray that he rests in heaven, because if it were not for him, I know I would have been killed," she said. "He saved my life. He is a hero. He died protecting me and my family."

    Preston and officer Courtney Waller responded to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Holly Hall just before 8 a.m. Tuesday. They spoke to the estranged wife in the parking lot for about an hour before her son came out of the apartment and told them that his father had a gun. That's when police said Elmer Manzano opened fire, shooting both officers.

    Preston, 65, was taken to an area hospital and was surrounded by family members when he died. He was a police officer for 41 years. Waller is expected to survive.
    Manzano's estranged wife said Preston was very helpful and kind during the incident.

    “I want to say thank you for the outpouring of support for my son and I. I also want to thank the officers of the Houston Police Department, especially the officers who came to help me," the estranged wife said. "To the family of Sgt. Preston, I want to offer my sincerest condolences. He helped me a lot. He was very kind."

    During the incident, Manzano was shot in the abdomen, and his 14-year-old son was also shot. Police said Manzano surrendered just before 10:30 a.m. The boy is expected to be OK and Manzano is expected to survive.

    Sgt. DeAndre’ Hutchinson, the President of the African American Police Officers League, is helping comfort Preston’s family.

    “Definitely a giant of a human being. A trailblazer,” Hutchinson said of the veteran officer who joined HPD in 1979. “He saw it all. He saw when African-Americans weren’t even allowed to promote at the police department.”

    Preston leaves behind a 23-year old daughter, his fianc? and his elderly parents.
    “I love this family. They are resilient,” Hutchinson said. “Their faith is going to get them through this.”

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Preston was weeks away from retiring from the department. Acevedo joined officers at the HPD Southwest Substation at 13097 Nitida Street early Wednesday morning to pray.

    The estranged wife said her situation is a prime example of what many domestic violence victims go through regularly. She had a message for those victims, as well.

    "To women who are experiencing domestic violence, don’t let the abuser intimidate you. Call the police and seek help," she said. "My kids were in danger, so I called for help. And I want to thank everyone for their prayers as our family begins to recuperate and begins to heal.”

    Manzano was charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated assault-serious bodily injury on Wednesday.

    “We go to work and put our lives on the line on a regular and a consistent basis,” Hutchinson said. “So yes, please, ma’am, please, sir, go the extra mile. Do something. Not only say a prayer, but also send a card, sow a seed. Encourage that officer. Because we don’t get a day off. We have to get back out there and we have to continue to do our job.”

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