Houston Officer Shot During Drug Raid

An undercover Houston police officer was shot in the arm and in the hip.


HOUSTON --

An undercover Houston police officer was wounded in a shooting during a drug raid on Thursday.

Houston police said the shooting happened at a home near the intersection of Buckboard Drive and Imperial Valley Drive shortly after 8 a.m.

Neighbors reported hearing police pounding on a door and then gunfire, with more than 20 shots blasting off rapidly.

Houston Police Department Narcotics Squad officers and federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents were raiding the home with the HPD SWAT team when the gunfire started.

"The officers who were in their HPD-approved raid gear, which is clearly marked as police, entered the house," HPD spokesman Kese Smith said. "One suspect looked out at the officers and began firing. Multiple officers, fearing for their safety, returned fire, striking the suspect."

Neighbors said they watched as the wounded officer, Nash Patel, was taken to a nearby undercover police vehicle, where officers gathered around him until medics arrived.

Patel, who works in the narcotics division, was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital by ambulance. A hospital representative said he was in good condition.

Investigators said Patel, 39, was shot twice, once in the arm and once near his hip. He was wearing full protective gear when he was shot, police said.

Mayor Annise Parker said that the bullet in Patel's hip will not be removed.

"If they would let him off the bed, he would go back (to work) today," HPD Chief Charles McClelland said. "I know that's not going to happen. He is very eager to go back, and he told the mayor and I that all he ever wanted to be was a narcotics officer, and he can't wait to get back."

One fellow officer who worked with Patel describe him as "a good guy" that other officers always enjoyed working with.

DEA officials declined to comment and a representative promptly hung up on a reporter who called to ask for information.

The wounded suspected gunman was taken to an area hospital, and paramedics who treated him said the wound was not life threatening.

A second person inside the home immediately surrendered to police, Smith said. The man was seen being moved from one police car to another, wearing no shirt and displaying tattoos on his back and neck.

Detectives roped off a large area around the scene of the shooting. Officers said they will question everyone who was in the area at the time of the shooting.

Neighbors reported odd behavior from the home where the raid and shooting unfolded.

One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said nice cars were always coming to the address at all hours. The neighbor reported seeing suitcases full of cash being lugged into the garage and said fighting rooster events were sometimes held in the back yard.

Patel joined the Houston Police Department in 1997. He joined the narcotics division in 2006.

Police Department officials said they had no information about whether the raid was connected to a series of DEA raids on suspected Mexican drug cartel members throughout the nation.

Team Coverage: Officer Shot In Drug Raid

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