A shooting in Houston wounded two police officers Tuesday, one critically, and forced officials to lock down a neighborhood for hours as they hunted for a suspect.
Police initially said they believed an armed and dangerous suspect was on the loose in southwest Houston. By late Thursday afternoon they said he was linked to burglaries in the area -- but may not have taken part in the shooting. The man who opened fire was killed in an exchange of gunshots with police.
The officer in critical condition took a bullet to the spine, Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters. Police Chief Art Acevedo urged people to "pray" for the wounded officers.
Police were responding to a burglary call when a homeowner said something suspicious was going on inside a backyard storage shed on Sterlingame Drive. As the officers approached, the gunman burst out and opened fire, Acevedo said.
Officer Ronny Cortez, a 24-year veteran of the force, was in critical condition at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. Officer Jose Munoz, a 10-year veteran, was stable at Ben Taub Hospital with injuries to his leg and back. Both officers are married.
Aerial video from the scene showed officers with K-9s scouring the neighborhood. The wanted burglary suspect was wearing dark clothes and a blue bandana, Acevedo said.
He urged people in the neighborhood to keep an eye out for the suspect, even as the police search winded down. "We need our community to be alert."
At least three schools went on lockdown. Police did not immediately name the suspects.