MESQUITE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The Mesquite Police Department has identified the officer killed in a shooting yesterday as Richard Lee Houston II.
After Houston was identified, Mesquite Mayor Daniel Alemán Jr. announced that a prayer vigil will be held on Sunday, December 5 at 8 p.m. in front of the Mesquite Police Department on 777 N. Galloway Avenue.
In a statement announcing the vigil, Alemán asked others to put aside politics and divisiveness and focus on honoring the fallen officer.
"Now is not the time for politics, but for a time for prayer. Please take a moment to pray for Richard's wife and children, the Houston family, and the entire Mesquite Police Department as they begin the long journey of the grieving process," Alemán said.
On the afternoon of December 3, Houston responded to a disturbance call on the 1500 block of Belt Line Rd. in Mesquite. During the stop, the suspect shot Houston multiple times before turning the gun on himself.
Authorities believe that Houston never fired a shot and have not yet disclosed the name of the suspect or what the nature of the disturbance was.
Houston and the suspect were both taken to Baylor Scott & White. Houston was pronounced deceased at about 2:11 p.m. The suspect remains in critical condition.
Richard Houston was a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department and was married with three children. He was hired by the Mesquite Police Department on January 8, 2001. He graduated from Section 153 of the Basic Course in Applied Police Science was named Valedictorian of his class.
Houston's assignments included serving in the Operations Bureau as a Patrol Officer, on the SWAT Team for more than 10 years, and in Criminal Investigations handling Burglary and Theft, Homeland Security, and Juvenile/Gang cases. He also earned a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Master Peace Officer License and Instructor Proficiency Certificate.
Officer Houston received a Certificate of Merit in April 2021 for his heroic actions assisting the Garland Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety with the arrest of three suspects of a stolen car used in various crimes and he prevented a suicide attempt by one of the suspects during the apprehension efforts.
His recognitions during his Mesquite Police Department career include:
• 48 Letters of Commendation
• 2 Life Saving Awards
• 1 Police Commendation Bar
• Citizens Police Academy Officer of the Month Award in August 2018
Mesquite Police Chief David Gill said, "This was a senseless act of violence. Richard was a great officer, friend, father, and husband. Please keep his family and our family in your prayers."
Other police departments and officials across Texas have also expressed their condolences and offered the Mesquite PD their support.
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