One man is dead and another man is wounded after an officer-involved shooting that took place outside a Houston, Texas bar.
Houston police say that the shooting happened at approximately 2am Saturday, just outside Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub and Grill, located in the 1900 block of West Gray Street, in the city’s River Oaks district.
Police say it happened when the off-duty officer and his wife were leaving the bar after attending a get-together, since the bar was closing for the night. Once he reached the parking lot, he heard one of his friends (who was spending the evening with the officer and his wife) call for help because he was being assaulted by four men.
The officer, then, immediately tried to stop the fight, but two of the suspected assailants began to charge at the officer, leading the officer to take action by drawing his service weapon and opening fire, striking both men. Several rounds were discharged from his gun.
The two wounded men were transported to Ben Taub General Hospital, where one was later pronounced dead while the other is still recovering.
The deceased suspect was later identified as 29-year-old Omar Ventura, who turned out to be one of the patrons of the bar. The wounded and hospitalized man was also later identified as Omar’s 27-year-old brother Roland Ventura. Omar was struck in the abdomen, whereas Roland was struck in the arm.
According to authorities, a third person might have been struck by the gunfire, but they could not find or recognize that person. Also, they say that they have no clue whether any of the other men were armed during the incident, or whether any other weapons were found at the scene.
The officer involved in the shooting has already been identified as 37-year-old Jose Coronado. He had experienced minor cuts and bruises as a result of the incident. He has been placed on desk duty for three days pending an investigation.
According to Coronado’s lawyer, identified as Chad Hoffman, he speculated that the whole incident began after his unidentified friend intervened by telling the suspected assailants to “leave a woman alone.” Hoffman also added that the victim was not familiar with the suspects.
Although the officer was drinking at the time, he was not intoxicated, Hoffman added. Police officers do not have the authority to take police action if they have a considerable amount of alcohol in their system. But, with respect to this case, the officer was in a tough situation, he said.
Police officers should also respond to any crime that they encounter. They must carry their badge and service weapon every 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to Hoffman.
The HPD Internal Affairs Division, Homicide Division, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are currently looking into this case, and this procedure is routine when it comes to officer-involved shootings.
Anyone with any further information about this case is encouraged to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Unit at 713-308-3600. It is highly recommended that tipsters should remain anonymous when reporting tips about actual criminal cases.