Sister of man accused of shooting at Houston police officers offers prayers: 'We are so sorry'

The sister of a man who was killed in a shootout with Houston police officers on Monday offered prayers for the five officers injured in the incident.

“We are so sorry that this situation happened,” Elizabeth Ferrari, the sister of Dennis Tuttle, told the Houston Chronicle. “My prayers (are) for the officers and their families.”

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On Tuesday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said a team of nine narcotics officers was attempting to serve a search warrant and “immediately came under fire” upon entering a home in the the city's southeast side. One of the suspects, 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas, was shot and killed as she tried to grab the service weapon of the first officer to be injured, he said. The second suspect killed was 59-year-old Tuttle, the chief said.

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)

Acevedo said the first officer through the door was charged at by a large pit bull, which he shot and killed. Acevedo said Tuttle immediately opened fire, striking that officer in the shoulder. Four officers were shot and a fifth suffered a knee injury. The names of the officers were not released because they work undercover.

The shooting erupted as 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,” Acevedo said. The undercover officers had purchased black tar heroin from a person at the home, ABC 13 reported.

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Officers found no heroin there Monday, but they recovered marijuana, an unidentified white powder and two rifles, he said.

Ferrari said her brother was a Navy veteran who was “released on honorable discharged medical.”

“He had debilitating injuries for many years and it’s a sad situation,” Ferrari told ABC 13.

She told Click 2 Houston that she spoke to her brother last week. She told the media outlet her brother was married to Nicholas.

"I don’t know his wife very well," Ferrari said. "It’s a family home, they’ve been together for a while."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.