Deacon deputy fires at burglar outside church

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:58:57 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 20 2013 01:01:02 PM CST

Nov. 20, 2013: A deacon who is also a sheriff's deputy confronted a man who was breaking into cars in a church parking lot. Courtney Zavala reports.


An off-duty Harris County deputy working as a deacon at a southwest Houston church fired shots at a car burglar, investigators said.

Both Harris County sheriff's deputies and Houston police homicide detectives were on scene overnight.

They said the deacon was doing some cleaning at the Living Word Faith Center Church on West Fuqua near Fondren around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday.

Pastor John Hickman finished bible study and was preparing for a Thanksgiving meal giveaway this weekend when a parishioner ran inside and said there was a suspicious person in the parking lot.

Pastor Hickman's son, who is a deputy, went outside to investigate.

Once outside, the deputy confronted the man he said was trying to break into a car. The deputy said he identified himself as an officer.

The deputy said he thought the man was reaching for something that may have been a gun, then turned towards him.

The deputy said he feared for his life and fired several shots at the suspect.

Investigators said the burglar ran away. Officials do not believe he was hit.

The suspect left behind several clues, police said, including his getaway car that was full backpacks and other potentially stolen items.

Houston police have described the suspect only as a black or Hispanic man. Investigators said they may be able to use the vehicle to track him down.

As for the officer, he was not hurt, but his pickup was one of several vehicles targeted by the thief.

This shooting is being investigating by the HPD Homicide Division, as well as the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.


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