Chief: Officer involved in Harding shootout under investigation

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that the actions of a case agent involved in the deadly shootout at a house on Harding Street last month is under investigation after possible discrepancies were found on an affidavit that lead to the search of the house.

A new search warrant states that the informant the officer said he watched go to the house on Harding and buy heroin now denies buying the drugs at that location and date.

Five officers were injured and two suspects killed when narcotics officers executed a search warrant at the house on Harding Street on January 28.

Houston Police Chief Acevedo says the department is investigating the case agent's actions leading up to the search warrant, the use of force and gun fire between the occupants of the house and the officers, and also looking into other cases that agent in question has worked on.

"As you can see from that search warrant affidavit, that we are going to get to the truth, because that's what we're working on. And we will report back the good, the bad, and the ugly," Chief Acevedo says. "Because we owe it to the suspects that were killed, we owe it to the officers that were shot that were there having full faith and trust in that affidavit, one that's still in the hospital with very serious wounds, and we owe it to this community and the good men and women of the Houston Police Department to make sure that we see not just what's in front of us but to have a very wide net."

Chief Acevedo cautioned people against jumping to conclusions and emphasized that, despite the discrepancies on the affidavit, the police department did have reason to be investigating at the house. He also said the department received a tip from a woman who claimed to be the mother of a young woman who was buying heroin at that house.

"This was not just an investigator that decided to go target a house, as far as we’ve determined so far, for no reason," Chief Acevedo says. "So the bottom line is, we’re not going to jump to conclusions, because conclusions without evidence is just speculation."

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice will host a town hall meeting on Feb. 18 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Talento Bilingue de Houston on 333 South Jensen Drive, Houston, TX 77003. The event will call the practice of no-knock warrants into question. Guests invited to the meeting include Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chief Acevedo, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, and attorney Oliver Brown.