Texas Police Sergeant Struck and Killed by Fleeing Suspect

Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan died after she was struck by a suspect fleeing a traffic stop.

Houston Chronicle
Sgt. Kaila Sullivan
Sgt. Kaila Sullivan
Nassau Bay Police Department

NASSAU BAY, Texas -- Harris County Sheriff's Office SWAT officers have surrounded a house in Sunnyside where authorities believe a man suspected of killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant Tuesday night is holed up.

Sgt. Kaila Sullivan died after being struck during a traffic stop on the 2000 block of San Sebastian Court about 8:30 p.m.  Sullivan was among a group of officers attempting to arrest a man wanted on a warrant related to a domestic violence conviction, Nassau Bay Police Chief Tim Cromie said.

Sullivan, 43, is the second Harris County law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty during the past week.

Police said that during the stop, the man managed to wrestle free from officers, get back into his vehicle, and then hit Sullivan as he drove away, Cromie said.

EMS rushed Sullivan to HCA-Houston Clear Lake Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She would have marked 16 years with Nassau Bay PD later this month, Cromie said.

Early Wednesday, police tracked the suspect to his mother's home in Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood, where SWAT officers are attempting to take the man into custody peacefully.

“This a nightmare scenario for our city,” Nassau Bay Mayor Mark Denman said, asking for prayers for Sullivan’s family. “The first time an officer has ever been seriously injured, much less killed in the line of duty. We’re a very safe city, we’ll catch the suspect.”

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a search for the suspect was underway and asked residents with any information about the suspect to contact them with tips.

“Our main thing is we’re supporting the mayor and chief as they lift up the community during this difficult time,” Gonzalez, calling Sullivan’s death a “grim reminder” about the dangers law enforcement officers face.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the tragedy “underscores the profound sacrifice men and women of law enforcement make every day they step out to protect our community.”

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose department is dealing with the shooting death Saturday of a sergeant, said in a tweet that Sullivan's death was a "heart-wrenching loss."

"Heaven gained a servant doing God’s work. She laid down her life while attempting to arrest a suspect wanted for domestic violence. May Sergeant Kaila Sullivan rest in eternal peace and glory in the presence of our maker," the tweet continued.

The incident comes three days after Houston Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call in Magnolia Park.

Police subsequently arrested Arturo Solis, 25, in Brewster's death. He faces capital murder charges.

Julian Gill is a digital reporter in Houston. Read him on our breaking news siteChron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. | julian.gill@chron.com


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