Suspect Shot Dead Following High-speed Chase In NE Harris County
On Wednesday, a high-speed chase through Houston in northeast Harris County, Texas, ended in the suspect’s death. The chase was also caught on live television.
Frank Ernest Shepard III, in a blue Chrysler 300, fled a traffic stop after he was stopped for “suspicious activity,” including two unsafe lane changes, according to House Police Department.
Thomas Gilliland, Harris County sheriff’s Deputy, said, “During the chase this suspect called 911 and was telling the dispatcher that he had a child in the car and that he would threaten to harm that child if officers attempted to pull him over or stop him.”
The police tried to stop the suspect with spike stripes but were unsuccessful. He then rammed his car into a white vehicle and an SUV near the YMCA in the 15000 block of Wallisville Road.
Jordan Gray, a witness, said, “I see him speeding down this road right here, all the cops are right behind him.”
Lessia Belle, another witness, said, “They were going super, super fast and it frightened us so much, I stopped in the middle of the Beltway,” according to USA Today.
The suspect also went by the name Trey.
After Shepard stopped and jumped from the vehicle, he was ordered by two officers to show his hands. However, he went back in the vehicle, and upon re-emerging was shot 10 to 12 times. He was transported to a local hospital.
Gilliland said, “Fearing for the their lives that this suspect was reaching for a weapon two officers discharged their weapons at the vehicle striking the suspect and killing him.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office maintains that the shooting was justified.
The driver of the white vehicle, Andrea Espino, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Northeast Hospital, according to ABC13. The passengers of the SUV received treatment at the scene.
Friends say the suspect worked as a barber.
“I know him since he was a little boy,” said a neighbor who didn’t want to give his name. “Good guy. Goes to work, has a family.”
According to Galena Park ISD officials, Havard Elementary School and North Shore Middle School were on lockout after the chase. Although classes continued as usual, no one was allowed to go in or leave the building.
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