HOUSTON, Texas – An off-duty police officer, from the neighboring city of Tomball, accidentally stumbled into an armed robbery in progress as he entered a gas station in northwest Harris County. No one was hit as the officer and robbers exchanged gunfire.
The as yet unidentified Tomball police officer pulled into a Shell station Saturday evening. The gas station is located at a busy highway intersection on Highway 290, according to a Houston Chronicle report. As he approached the gas station in his GMC pickup turck, he observed two men leaving the store wearing ski masks and black clothing. The two men were brandishing firearms as well.
The officer identified himself as a law enforcement officer and presented his pistol. He ordered the two robbers to drop their weapons. Instead, the two men chose to open fire.
Harris County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Thomas Gilliland told the news media present at the scene that “They exchanged a lot of gunfire.”
He said there were between fifteen and twenty rounds fired from both side.
In the following cell phone video shot by witness Zain Jangda, the officer can be heard asking someone to call 9-1-1. At the end of the video, first aired on KTRK-ABC13, gunfire can be heard.
KTRK-ABC13 reported that the robbers fled the scene in a previously stolen truck. It was not disclosed as to whether the Tomball officer pursued the pair of robbers. The bullet-riddled stolen truck was later found by authorities at an apartment complex in the immediate area. A search by helicopter and with K-9 units did not find the missing suspects.
A small amount of blood was found in the stolen truck, but it is not known whether either suspect was hit. The officer also was not hit in the mallei.
Bullets were liberally sprayed around the crowded parking lot during the wild west-style shootout, according to the Chronicle. Gilliland said there were at least eight people in cars in the busy intersection of State Highway 6 and U.S. 290 near the store. He also said the blood found in the stolen truck could have come from a scrape and not from gunfire.
The investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office continues. They will review video tapes at the Shell station in addition to cell phone videos taken by witnesses. Other evidence was left behind in the stolen truck.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.