Rookie HPD Cop Shoots, Wounds Suspect a Month into the Job

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Most cops can go their entire 20- or 30-year careers without firing a gun at someone in the line of duty.

Houston police officer B. Russell Jr. wasn't so lucky. They say wounding (or killing) a suspect can be a traumatic thing for a cop to go through, and Russell is facing that process as a probationary officer a little more than one month into the job.

Russell, who was sworn in to the force in January, was one of several HPD cops who responded to a suspicious-vehicle call that turned out to involve "a person of interest" cops wanted to talk to in connection with two murders.

That person, Keith Earl Turner, 45, is now facing charges of attempted capital murder for shooting at the cops on the scene.

The shootout -- which also featured police officers rescuing a female and two kids from a car that was taking hits -- began about 3:30 Sunday afternoon near the intersection of West Airport Boulevard and Hillcroft.

Police responded to a suspicious black Dodge Dakota pickup truck in a parking lot. As they approached the vehicle, according to HPD, Turner got out.

"Turner then raised his hands and made gestures as if challenging officers," HPD says. "He then put on a sweater, pulled a handgun from his waistband and began firing shots at officers."

Russell and officer S. Howze, a four-year HPD vet, returned fire and hit Turner, who is in an area hospital in unknown condition. Police later determined he was wanted for questioning in a double murder Saturday.

"During the gunfire exchange, other HPD officers at the scene realized a female and her two children, eight and 14, were inside a red Chevrolet Suburban in the line of fire," HPD says. "Officers managed to approach the vehicle as the suspect's rounds struck the vehicle and got the family to safety without injury."

No police officers were injured in the incident. The case will be investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions as well as the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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