Off-Duty Houston Officer Shoots, Kills Man

HOUSTON --

An off-duty Houston police officer shot a man at a northeast Houston apartment complex late Wednesday.

Houston police said Officer S. Bryant was working an extra job at the Emerald Bay Apartments on Bennington Street near Hoffman Street when a he spotted two men sitting in a car suspected of being involved in drug activity about 11:45 p.m.

"He approached the vehicle and asked the passenger to show his hands and to get out of the vehicle," HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.

Investigators said the passenger instead shifted in his seat, turned and reached for a weapon.

"The officer again gives more verbal commands," Silva said.

The officer, who identified himself verbally and was wearing clothing that identified himself as a police officer, ended up pulling out his gun and he fired at least one shot, killing the passenger, detectives said. That man's name has not been released.

Witnesses said they saw something different.

"He shot him while he was getting out of the car," said a witness who requested not to be identified. "He put him in handcuffs while he was on the ground. I don't think that's right."

"He was telling him, 'I got my hands up. Don't shoot, don't shoot,'" said another witness who requested not to be identified.

The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody and later released.

Police said a gun and drugs were found inside the car. Witnesses said they did not believe that.

"If they had drugs and guns, he (the driver) wouldn't be out. They'd have him in custody right now," said a witness.

Investigators said the officer works in the narcotics division and has been with the department since May 1996.

As is customary in HPD officer-involved shooting incidents in the city limits, the incident is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions and the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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