Houston Police Officers Union's warning for 'dirtbags trying to take our lives' after shooting; suspects named

The president of the Houston Police Officers Union on Monday tore into those targeting law enforcement officers, hours after a shooting left five cops injured.

Joe Gamaldi, the union president, gave an impassioned statement after the incident, saying “enough is enough.” Two suspects also were killed in the incident.

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“Now I want to speak on behalf of the 5,200 brave men and women who work in the Houston Police Department and the other 800,000 police officers who are working these streets every single day, are putting their lives on the line,” Gamaldi said. “We are sick and tired of having targets on our back. We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.”

He also had a message for those calling police officers the “enemy.”

“And for the ones who are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now and we’re going to be keeping track of all y’all and we’re going to be making sure we’re going to be holding you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers,” he said.

Four Houston officers were wounded and one suffered a knee injury in the incident. A group of about a dozen members of the Houston police narcotics unit responded to a residence they suspected was a hub for drug dealing, particularly the sale of “street-level narcotics” like “black tar heroin,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. He said officers found no heroin there Monday, but they recovered marijuana, an unidentified white powder and two rifles.

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The incident started as an attempt to serve a search warrant at the residence before it quickly turned into a gun battle. Acevedo said officers had received a tip from a neighbor that heroin was being sold there.

Acevedo said three of the officers are in stable condition. Two of the officers were shot in the face. One of the officers shot in the face is recovering and is stable while the other officer will not need surgery and is expected to be discharged. The officer who injured a knee underwent surgery and is recovering. One officer who was shot in the shoulder was released from the hospital on Monday. The chief released few details on the fifth officer. The chief said all of the officers are on administrative leave.

Dennis Tuttle, 59, [left] and Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were identified as the suspects. 

Dennis Tuttle, 59, [left] and Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were identified as the suspects.  (Houston Police Department )

The names of the injured officers were not released but they range in age from 33 to 54, with the oldest having been shot two times previously, according to Acevedo.

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The suspects involved in the shooting were identified Tuesday as Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59. Acevedo did not elaborate on any past criminal histories. Nicholas was shot and killed as she tried to grab the service weapon of the first officer to be injured, Acevedo said. The second suspect killed was Tuttle, the chief said.

The chief called on lawmakers to do more than offer prayers when it comes to gun violence.

Fox News’ Matt Richardson, Madeleine Rivera and the Associated Press contributed to this report.