HOUSTON – Houston police Sgt. Christopher Brewster was shot while responding to a domestic violence situation on Saturday afternoon.
After being critically wounded, Brewster, 32, was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The shooting took place after a woman called 911 to say her boyfriend, who was armed with two guns, was assaulting her, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. Brewster responded to the home, but the couple was no longer there. He continued searching for them, finding them in an alley nearby and exiting his vehicle, when he came under fire from the man, Acevedo said.
Despite being shot multiple times and mortally wounded, Brewster managed to radio the suspect’s location and description, leading to his arrest by responding officers, ABC News reported.
Brewster was pronounced dead at about 6:30 p.m. local time, less than an hour after responding to the scene.
“This is a tough evening,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference outside the hospital Saturday night. “Every single day our police officers show up, they come to work … not knowing what they are gonna face. I want to be very mindful of the service Chris gave to the city.”
Acevedo identified the shooting suspect as Arturo Solis, 25. He has a criminal history, including assault causing bodily injury of a family member in 2015. A semi-automatic handgun was recovered in the possession of Solis when he was taken into custody. A second weapon reportedly belonging to Solis was also later found.
In addition to the assault charge, to which he pleaded guilty, Solis has been convicted of criminal mischief and harassment and pleaded guilty to evading arrest and burglary of a vehicle — all since 2014, according to ABC News.
The woman who called police was uninjured, police said.
“Before he became a sergeant he was in an elite union in the Houston Police Department,” said Joe Gamaldi, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. “When we talk about Chris, he’s going to be remembered a great man and a great husband but I want everyone to know that he was a true crime fighter in the truest definition of the word, of those words.”
Acevedo shed tears during Saturday night’s press conference when he talked about Brewster’s growth in the department. Acevedo said Brewster attended cadet class 209 and graduated from the academy Nov. 1, 2010. He said Brewster was promoted to sergeant earlier this year, Click2Houston reported.
“It’s a year later and he’s already gone,” Acevedo said while fighting through tears. “I remember promoting him with his family watched him get his badge the pride and the conversation we had Feb. 9, 2019.”
Deadly shootings overnight have claimed the lives of two police officers. Sgt. Christopher Brewster was killed while responding to a domestic violence call in Houston, police say. In Arkansas, police in Fayetteville say one of their officers was “executed” in a parking lot. pic.twitter.com/9svMHKGoz7
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 8, 2019
Brewster’s wife, parents and a brother survive him.
“In the days to come, in the years to come, we will honor his service to the city of Houston,” Turner said.
He is the 44th officer to be fatally shot this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks information on police line-of-duty deaths.
Brewster is the 13th law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in Texas this year — the most of any state.
He is the first Houston Police Department member to die in the line of duty since Sgt. Steve Albert Perez drowned while working during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Two Harris County sheriff’s deputies — which includes the city of Houston — died this year: Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was shot and killed, and Omar Diaz, who died of a medical emergency while responding to a stabbing incident.
It was a somber Saturday for law enforcement officers as a Fayetteville Arkansas police officer was apparently executed behind their police department. The gunman died during a shootout with responding officers.