Houston police officer hit, killed by car-chase suspect

Houston police (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston police (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say one of their own was hit and killed by a suspect who was speeding away from a car chase; the suspect later shot himself but survived.

Chief Charles McClelland says 47-year-old Officer Richard Martin was putting down spike strips Monday to stop the suspect’s car when he was hit. Martin died at the scene.

“For any police chief, this is the worst day that you could ever have is when you have an officer that’s been killed in the line of duty,” said McClelland. “It’s just, it’s horrible, and you just don’t know what to do. You don’t know what to say to friends and family.”

Police didn’t immediately release the name of the suspect, who was transported to a hospital. His condition wasn’t released.

The chase began early Monday when officers spotted a man driving a U-Haul. Police didn’t immediately say what prompted the pursuit, leading the suspect to abandon the U-Haul and carjack a minivan after pushing the driver out.

McClelland says the suspect used the stolen minivan to ram Martin. The chase continued until the minivan stopped; officers heard a gunshot and found the wounded suspect.

Prosecutors have only had the case for a few hours, but they are already planning to file capital murder charges against the driver and seek the death penalty.

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