A constable deputy was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting early Saturday while they were working an extra job at a bar in Houston, according to police. One of the wounded deputies was shot in the back, and the other was shot in the foot.
On Saturday afternoon, police identified the deputy who died as 30-year-old Kareem Atkins. They said he had recently returned from maternity leave. He is survived by a wife and 2 month old baby.
Deputy Darrell Garrett, 28, was shot in the back and underwent surgery. He is in the ICU. Deputy Juqaim Barthen, 26, was also wounded, police said. They did not provide an update on his condition.
The incident took place around 2:15 a.m. Atkins and Garrett had gone outside to address what a witness described as a possible robbery in the parking lot. As they were trying to arrest a suspect, another suspect “unseen to the deputies” shot them with an AR-15 assault rifle, according to police.
“We believe they were ambushed, shot from behind, with a– a suspect with a rifle,” said James Jones, executive assistant chief of the Houston Police Department.
Barthen rushed to help his fellow deputies after hearing the gunshots in the parking lot and was immediately shot.
It’s unclear whether the deputy constables returned fire.
Earlier Saturday, police said a person of interest was in custody. They later tweeted that he was not the suspected shooter.
Police said a suspect is believed to be a Hispanic male in his early 20s.
“Deputies Atkins, Garrett, and Barthen are true law enforcement heroes that were cowardly ambushed while serving and protecting their community,” constable Mark Herman said in a press release Saturday.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.