Houston police chief describes slain sergeant's heroic final moments
A Houston police officer was shot and killed Saturday evening by a man who had been reported for assault, authorities said. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Sergeant Christopher Brewster's death at a media briefing late Saturday. Police officials said in a tweet that the 32-year-old officer was shot just before 6 p.m.
At the briefing, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said police received a call from a female victim who reported that her boyfriend was assaulting her and armed with two firearms. Police responding to the address didn't find the pair, but Brewster spotted them three streets away on Houston's east side.
He was shot at and struck multiple times immediately after exiting his patrol vehicle, Acevedo said. Even though Brewster was fatally wounded, he called and reported the shooting, allowing other officers to contain the area, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reported.
"Although he was mortally wounded, he had the presence of mind to draw his pistol out of his holster to protect himself in case the suspect came up and he also had the presence of mind and courage to put out and broadcast suspect information that was critical for the responding units," Acevedo said.
Brewster died about a half-hour after the shooting, which Acevedo said was captured on body cameras. Acevedo initially said Brewster wasn't wearing his vest, but later confirmed that the officer was.
"What people will see is a coward who took the life of a hero," Acevedo said.
KHOU reported a 25-year-old male suspect, identified as Arturo Solis, fled on foot, and responding officers saw him jumping fences, the police chief said. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol when he was captured at a school, according to Acevedo, who later tweeted that police recovered both firearms and other evidence discarded by the suspect.
Acevedo said Solis was captured at a nearby school and has been charged Sunday with capital murder. Court records show Solis is due in court Monday and is being held without bond.
The woman who called police is uninjured and cooperating with the investigation, Acevedo said.
Houston's mayor said Governor Greg Abbott had called and expressed condolences for Brewster's family. The governor also tweeted about the shooting, saying "Tonight & Every Night we Back The Blue in Houston & across Texas."
Just hours after Brewster's death, a police officer in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was shot and killed outside the police department there. The suspect in that shooting was fatally shot by responding officers.
The police chief said Brewster graduated the police academy in 2010 and was promoted to sergeant in February. He's survived by his wife, parents and sisters.
"We're the Houston Police Department," Acevedo said before invoking the loss of Sergeant Steve Perez, who drowned in the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. "We pause, we pray and we drive forward."
Condolences began filling social media to honor Brewster, KHOU reported.
HPD Union President Joe Gimaldi called Sgt. Brewster a "true crime fighter, who loved his job and loved protecting the citizens of our community." Turner asked the city to keep Brewster's family in your prayers. Representative Dan Crenshaw tweeted, "Chris risked his life every day protecting our community. He loved his job and was a true professional. Never forget him."
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