An off-duty officer was shot dead while dining at a Galleria-area restaurant. The incident happened Saturday afternoon, and the suspects remain on the run.
Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner released a statement saying that the restaurant where the incident took place is at Grotto Ristorante. A group of out-of-towners noted that while they were dining at the restaurant, two men approached them. They were on the restaurant’s patio, and the two men had their guns drawn and demanded the belongings of the group. Other witnesses said that the group complied with the demands, but one of the suspects opened fire. That was when the off-duty police officer, who was not identified yet, was shot dead. Another victim was likewise hit with a bullet but was taken to the hospital. The other victim is reportedly in critical condition.
Officers said they were called to the scene at around 5:17 p.m. shortly after arriving, the off-duty officer was pronounced dead. They did not release the name of the victims as they wanted to respect the privacy of the family. Finner, however, said that the officer who died left behind two children. He encouraged Houstonians to pray for the officer’s family. The officer was only visiting Houston and was a member of the New Orleans Police Department.
The suspects have not been identified yet, but surveillance video from nearby businesses showed one man wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans, and the other was wearing a white hoodie and black pants. They allegedly left the scene in a gray or silver Nissan Altima.
Finner said that he is mad about the situation and added, “We’re better than this. And I’m not going to let by as the chief, and everyone that’s standing with me right now, and let a few [little] thugs tear down our city.”
New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson also released a statement saying they are certain that the Houston Police Department will work persistently to find the suspects.