Houston PD releases body cam video from deadly shooting of officer, wounding of another

The Houston Police Department released body-worn camera video on Tuesday from the shooting last month that left an officer dead and another wounded.

Senior Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey died and Sgt. Michael Vance was hospitalized after the shooting on September 20.

MORE: HPD officer killed, another wounded while executing warrant in NE Harris Co.

Police said the shooting occurred as officers with the Major Offenders Division were attempting to execute an arrest warrant for Deon Ledet in the 5300 block of Aeropark Drive.

According to HPD, an officer knocked on the door and advised the woman who answered that they had an arrest warrant for Ledet and asked where he was. Authorities say the woman was asked to step outside.

Police say Ledet then opened fire, striking Officer Jeffrey and Sgt. Vance. According to HPD, officers returned fire and sought cover.

Both wounded officers were transported to Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center, where Officer Jeffrey passed away.

The suspect died at the scene.


On Tuesday, the police department released video from six officers’ body-worn cameras.

"As I said, it is difficult to watch. But let me cut through it. Let me cut through my frustration.  It's time for a national call, a call of unity," HPD Chief Troy Finner said. "A lot of times everybody wants to point the fingers. Not about that, and we shouldn't be about it in criminal justice. It's time for police, prosecutors, district attorneys, judges and lawmakers, both state and federal, to stand up, and making sure that we’re doing whatever we can do to make our streets, this city, in this county, in this region and our nation as safe as possible. There is absolutely no reason or no room for suspects to be armed like this."


Leaders for Houston-area law enforcement agencies spoke at the press conference, bring attention to the suspect’s weapon.

"If you pay particular attention to the body-worn camera of the two officers, the sergeant and Officer Jeffrey at the door, you get the best indication that that firearm was firing in a fully automatic mode," said Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Milanowski said ATF has arrested multiple people over the past year selling auto switches, seized about 104 of the switches, and seized 11 handguns that had the switches on them. He says they are seeing them across the Houston Field Division but they are seeing the most in the city of Houston.

According to ATF, the illegal devices allow a semi-automatic handgun to function as a fully automatic firearm.

"A 30-round magazine fired through one of these guns that shoots fully automatic, 2.6 seconds to put 30 rounds downrange. If you watch that video slowly, you'll see it. I believe it was in two volleys, that those 30 rounds are fired in," Milanowski said.

MORE: Funeral service held for HPD Senior Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting, but Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed that one of the weapons found at the scene was a pistol with a switch.

"This switch right here is a machine gun under federal law, and most people don't know it," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.

Lowrey says a person can be prosecuted for knowingly possessing a machine gun and also knowingly transferring a machine gun.

"You could go to federal prison up to 10 years and up to a $250,000 fine," Lowery said. "This is getting the word out. These are machine guns and you can be prosecuted federally, we have prosecuted federally, just for the switches, and also when they're attached to the revolvers themselves too."