Sheriff's deputy shot, informant killed in undercover operation gone bad
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A sheriff's deputy was shot and another man killed in a narcotics operation gone bad in the middle of an otherwise quiet neighborhood Monday.
The incident happened on Hollister St. at Bourgeois. Investigators worked late into the evening removing packets and packets of evidence from the cab of the 18-wheeler that was center of the wild shootout earlier in the day.
It all began early Monday afternoon. Several undercover officers were following a truck believed to be transporting drugs when other suspects drove up and opened fire.
"Maybe five, six (gunshots). Like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. It scared me because I'm alone and I saw it from the window," said one witness.
When it was over, an undercover deputy was shot in the left leg. He was taken to Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, and will be alright. A confidential informant inside the cab was dead, and several suspects were arrested.
As the multi-agency investigation continued into the night, homeowners nearby recounted how it's not the first time they've seen the red truck.
"I have seen this truck parked here a number of times the past couple of weeks," said neighbor Marvin Wilson.
Wilson says he assumed that the truck driver was just visiting nearby family, never expecting it would be the subject of a long term undercover drug investigation that ended up in a deadly shootout right in front of his neighborhood.
"You never want something like this to happen in your neighborhood, but it's scary," he said. "It's too close."
In a related incident, a second deputy was injured and taken to an area hospital. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, that deputy was in a squad car with lights and sirens on en route to the shooting call. The female deputy collided with an Aldine school bus on Antoine at West Road. The bus then struck a moving car and a parked car.
Aldine ISD spokesperson Ben Wilson told us no children were on board at the time, and that the bus driver, the deputy and a third driver hit by the bus were all transported to the hospital via ambulance.
We're told the deputy is listed in good condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital. The extent of the other drivers' injuries is not known.
According to the Justice Department, Houston is a major distribution hub for illegal drugs. In a 2009 study, it found mostly marijuana and cocaine move from Mexico through Houston and on to major cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. Drug money from those cities then gets back to Mexico through Houston as well.
The report cites several reasons Houston is such a critical distribution center. Among them, a well-developed highway system, established financial infrastructure, ethnic and racial diversity and significant international trade.
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