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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.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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