HOUSTON – A deputy constable working an extra job was murdered Wednesday at a Houston shopping mall when a suspect grabbed his firearm and shot and killed him. Responding officers fatally shot the suspect a short time later, authorities said.
The fatal encounter between the deputy and suspect occurred at the PlazAmericas Mall on the city’s southwest side, just before 4 p.m.
Deputy Constable Neil Adams of the San Jacinto County Precinct 1 was identified as the law enforcement officer who was killed, Houston police Chief Troy Finner told reporters, FOX 26 Houston reported.
During the confrontation, the suspect was able to disarm Adams and fatally shoot him before fleeing toward the mall food court, according to Finner.
Houston police officers confronted the suspect after the deputy was killed. (Screenshot FOX 26)
Responding officers of the Houston Police Department encountered the suspect a short time later. The perpetrator was armed with a sharp object, possibly a knife, the chief said.
When the homicidal offender moved toward them, two officers opened fire. The suspect was shot and subsequently transported to a hospital where he died. He was only identified as a 35-year-old man.
San Jacinto County Constable Roy Rogers said Adams graduated from the academy in 2012 and worked as the county’s environmental officer, the New York Post reported.
“We lost one of our heroes,” he said. “He worked hard to take care of his family and to take care of the constituents of our county.”
In a tweet, Joe Gamaldi, a Houston police officer and national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, called violence against police officers “demoralizing and heartbreaking.”
“My thoughts and prayers are w/San Jacinto County Pct 1 as one of their own was gunned down and murdered today at Sharpstown Mall,” he wrote.
My thoughts and prayers are w/ San Jacinto County Pct 1 as one of their own was gunned down and murdered today at Sharpstown Mall.
The violence against officers in this country has reached critical mass and our communities are unrecognizable. Its demoralizing and heartbreaking
— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) February 24, 2022
“The violence against officers in this country has reached critical mass and our communities are unrecognizable,” Gamaldi emphasized.