HOUSTON (AP) — It started as an attempt to serve a search warrant at a suspected drug house and quickly turned into a gun battle that killed two suspects and injured five officers, including four who were shot, Houston's police chief said.
The suspects were killed Monday after firing at narcotics officers who were trying to enter a home on the city's southeast side where authorities allege black tar heroin was being sold, Chief Art Acevedo said. Four of the officers were shot and a fifth suffered a knee injury.
Acevedo said two of the officers who were shot were hit in the neck by gunfire and were in critical but stable condition at a Houston hospital.
"We're hopeful that they will recover," Acevedo said.
Two other officers, including the one who injured a knee, were in good condition at the hospital Monday night. Another officer who was shot was released after being treated for a shoulder wound.
Acevedo didn't immediately have additional information about the suspects. The names of the injured officers were not immediately released.
The chief said a group of about a dozen officers with the Houston Police Department's narcotics unit were attempting to serve the warrant when they forced open the home's front door and immediately faced gunfire from one or two individuals. He said officers had gotten a tip from a neighbor that the heroin was being sold there.
"Once the officers breached the door and the gunfire began from the suspects, one of the suspects actually retreated momentarily to the back of the room and then that suspect came back and again engaged the officers in gunfire," Acevedo said.
It was not immediately known how many officers returned fire but the two suspects were later found dead after SWAT officers used two robots to go into the home and determine that it was safe to enter after the gunfire stopped.
"This has been a tough day for our city," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Pray for (the injured officers) and pray for their families."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement that the shooting was a "solemn reminder" of the service and sacrifices made by officers.
Reporter Adam King also reported that this is the fourth time one of the injured officers has been shot while working in the line of duty.