The suspected shooter was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s.
The incident unfolded around 2:15 a.m. at the 45 North Bar and Lounge in the 4400 block of the North Freeway near Crosstimbers, Houston Police said.
Three Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputies were working an extra job at the club when they went outside to address “a disturbance” that “may have been a robbery,” Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief James Jones said during a press conference.
Two of the deputies entered the parking lot and began to arrest a possible suspect when a second suspect emerged and opened fire on them with an AR-15 assault rifle, striking both, precinct officials said Saturday.
The officers were identified in a post on the precinct’s Facebook page as deputy Kareem Atkins, 30, who had been with Precint 4 since January 2019 and died of his injuries, and deputy Darrell Garrett, 38, who was employed at Precinct 4 since March 2018 and was shot in the back and underwent surgery. He is at the ICU at Hermann Hospital, authorities said.
Atkins had recently returned back to work since becoming a father and leaves behind a wife and 2-month-old baby, officials said.
Upon hearing the gunshots, deputy Juqaim Barthen, 26, who was employed at the precinct since September 2019, rushed to help and was also shot.
The suspected shooter was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s. No futher information was made available.
Constable for Precinct 4 Mark Herman described the incident as “Probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my career.”
“We hope to have a suspect in custody soon and I hope for swift and quick justice for that individual because he ambushed my deputies,” Herman added.
Jones, with Houston Police, also described the shooting as an “ambush.”
The Houston Police Department is investigating the shooting.
One person of interest is in custody, but Jones said officials were not sure if he was a witness or a suspect.
“This is very tragic. I do believe that good always trumps evil and what happened tonight was evil,” Herman said.