Police detail harrowing raid and shootout that left 5 Houston officers injured and 2 suspects dead

Four Houston police officers were shot when a gun battle broke out as they served a warrant at a house where they suspected drugs were being sold.

Posted: Jan 29, 2019 2:30 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2019 2:30 PM

Houston police had previously bought black tar heroin at the home, Chief Art Acevedo said Tuesday. When a narcotics unit raided the house, officers swiftly came under fire, and a pit bull charged the first officer through the door, he said.

When Monday afternoon's raid was over, two suspects were dead and five officers were injured, four of them suffering gunshot wounds.

The first officer fired a shotgun blast, killing the dog. Suspect Dennis Tuttle, 59, initially retreated but returned with a .357 Magnum, shooting the officer in the shoulder, the chief said. The officer collapsed onto a couch in the living room.

As the other narcotics officers charged through the door -- which Acevedo described as a "fatal funnel" -- the second suspect, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, tried to wrestle the shotgun away from the officer on the couch. Police quickly shot her.

More gunfire was exchanged as the 54-year-old officer who breached the door -- the officer who knocks down the door goes in last -- charged into the fray, realizing his fellow officers were in trouble.

"He immediately knew his partners were down and he made entry. When he made entry, he got shot," Acevedo said. "You know your brother's down, you sister's down, you go in, and that's what they did."

The chief became emotional as he recounted the longtime veteran passing a note to his police brethren explaining his actions. It said, "I had to get in there because I knew my guys were down," according to Acevedo.

After more gunfire, everyone in the house had been killed or wounded, and four officers went in to rescue their injured counterparts.

Investigators found no heroin on the premises, but they found marijuana and a white powder believed to be cocaine or the powerful prescription painkiller fentanyl, Acevedo said. They also seized three shotguns and two rifles, he said.

Both suspects' relatives have been notified of their deaths, the chief said.

Acevedo and Michelle McNutt, chief of trauma surgery at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston, provided updates on four of the officers, explaining that the family of the fifth officer has requested no information be released:

• The 54-year-old who "heroically made the entry" was shot in the face and required surgery. He is recovering, but the facial trauma team will have to perform more operations in the future.

• A 50-year-old sergeant who suffered a gunshot wound to the face required no surgery. The officer, who has 25 years on the force, is stable and will be released later Tuesday or Wednesday.

• Another 50-year-old sergeant, a 27-year veteran, who suffered an knee injury is recovering and will be released later this week.

• The first officer through the door, a 33-year-old, was shot in the shoulder and has been released. The officer has 10 years on the force.

• The last officer, whose family requested privacy, is in stable condition. Acevedo said he was concerned about the officer, who is "in a really tough fight" and "needs prayers."

Because the officers work undercover, their names aren't being released at this time.

The 54-year-old officer is no stranger to taking a bullet in the line of duty, the chief said. The 32-year veteran was shot in 1992 and 1997.

"He's done something in life that God really watches over him," Acevedo said.

The chief described him as a big, strong teddy bear who is "tough as nails." The only thing larger than his physical stature, the chief said, is his courage.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday the shooting marked "a tough day" for Houston.

"Pray for their families, pray for their spouses, their children, their parents, all of their loved ones," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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