An Austin police SWAT officer was shot early Thursday morning while executing a search warrant. He was the second Texas police officer shot in the past twelve hours. The officer is in stable condition recovering from his wound.
Shortly before 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, an Austin Police Department SWAT team arrived to serve a search warrant as part of a narcotics trafficking investigation, the Austin American-Statesman reported. As the team made entry to the home, an unidentified suspect opened fire striking a SWAT team officer in the knee. Another officer returned fire but did not hit the suspect.
The team breached the door and used a PA system to announce they were police officers. Flash-bang distraction devices were also used in the entry.
The 18-year-old suspect fired multiple shots at the officers who retreated from the home after returning fire. About 12 minutes later, the suspect came out of his house with a woman police believe to be his mother and surrendered.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters that drugs were found inside the home. He said police used a bomb squad robot to clear the home before entering, but they had no reason to suspect explosives were inside the home.
The wounded officer, whose name has not been released, was transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge where he is recovering. His family is with him. The officer will be on paid leave while he recovers from his wound.
The officer who returned fire on the suspect has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is the standard practice following an officer involved shooting, the Austin newspaper reported.
Several hours earlier, a Harris County Precinct Seven deputy constable was ambushed and shot four times. That deputy is recovering in a Houston hospital after a six-hour surgery to repair his wounds. He was shot four times in the back while standing outside his patrol car following a traffic stop, Breitbart Texas’s Managing Director Brandon Darby reported. The shooting is not believed to be connected to the traffic stop and a person of interest is in custody.
The Austin police officer is the second officer from this department to be shot in the past two weeks. On April 3, Austin police officer Armando Perez was shot and injured while “attempting to restrain a combative car burglary suspect outside a downtown pizzeria,” the Austin newspaper reported. During the struggle, the suspect pulled out a pistol and shot Perez in the abdomen. Officer Perez returned fire and killed the suspect.
Doctors removed the bullet from his abdomen and Perez was released on Monday, April 4. He will be on paid administrative leave while the shooting is being investigates and he recovers from his wound.