Manhunt continues for gunman that shot 3 deputies, killing one of them

Family members spent Monday making funeral arrangements for Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Kareem Atkins who was shot to death early Saturday. It happened on the North Freeway and two other Precinct 4 deputies were also shot and they survived.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from the bar where the three were working, as dozens of detectives work to identify the gunman that shot the three Precinct 4 deputies, killing one of them.

"It’s tough. It’s tough for all of us. It’s tough for Nadia. It’s tough for the kids. What do you tell a 2-year-old girl that’s asking for her dad," says Deputy Atkins friend, Jimmy Vitela. 

Tragedy has now ripped the beautiful Atkins family apart. Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Kareem Atkins was nearing the end of his shift, working an extra job providing security at the bar off the North Freeway early Saturday when he was shot and killed. 

RELATED: 3 officers shot, 1 killed during apparent ambush in north Harris Co. 

In fact, he was just 15 minutes from heading home where he was going to take his wife, 2-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son on vacation. 

"They were supposed to go to Disney World, like 10 hours after he was supposed to get off because he was supposed to get off at 2:30 a.m. His wife said but you’re going to be tired and his response was that’s what dads do," Vitela explains. 

Instead of making it home to take that trip, someone went into the bar saying people were being robbed in the parking lot. Deputy Atkins and Deputy Darrell Garrett went to check it out. As they attempted to arrest a man, both deputies were shot from behind as another man opened fire on them with an AR-15 assault rifle.

"He was murdered. He was ambushed by a coward," says Vitela.


Deputy Garrett had his third surgery Monday and is in critical condition. Deputy Juqaim Barthen is also still in the hospital after he rushed to help and was shot in the leg. 

The three were very good friends. Vitela met Deputy Atkins 10 years ago, shortly after Atkins arrived in Houston from New York and he worked at Vitela’s car lot as a salesman. 

"When I met Kareem, his lifelong dream was to become NYPD," and Vitela says he tried to talk his friend out of becoming a police officer. 

"Because he’s just so kind and so gentle and so loving. I was afraid for him. It’s a tough job and Kareem was very loving and he cared about everybody and I was worried people would take advantage of that."

The Atkins just had their second child, just bought a new house and now his wife Nadia is left to do it all on her own. Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman says not if he can help it. He has confirmed there are GoFundMe accounts set up for Deputies Atkins, Garrett and Barthen. Click below if you would like to help.