Harris County Pct. 4 deputy constables shot dead, 2 other deputies injured at I-45 North Freeway nightclub near Crosstimbers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A deputy constable in Harris County Precinct 4 was shot dead and two other constable deputies were injured early Saturday in what authorities call an ambush at a North Houston nightclub.

It happened around 2:15 am in the 4400 block of the North Freeway near Crosstimbers at 45 Norte Bar and Lounge.

The deputies were working an extra job at the nightclub as they tried to respond to a disturbance outside that may have been a robbery, according to Houston police, who are taking the lead in investigating what exactly happened.

When two deputies tried to detain someone, it was when another suspect with a rifle came around a car and fired several shots at those deputies, according to HPD Executive Assistant Chief James Jones. Both were hit. It was one of those deputies who was shot dead.

A third deputy heard these shots and came running. That was when the deputy was shot.

Among the injured, one deputy was shot in the back and another deputy was shot in the foot, Harris County Pct. 4 said Constable Mark Herman.

Around 1 p.m., Herman announced the names of the three deputies in a Facebook post.

Deputy Kareem Atkins, 30, was the one who died of his gunshot wounds. Atkins had been with Precinct 4 since January 2019, and according to Herman, he had just returned to work from paternity leave after he and his wife had a baby. He now leaves behind his wife and a 2 month old.

Herman identified the two wounded deputies as 28-year-old Darryl Garrett and 26-year-old Juqaim Barthen.

Garrett took up the position at Precinct 4 back in March 2018. He underwent surgery from the gunshot wound to the back and was at the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital. No update was given on Barthen other than the fact that he too was shot and immobilized. Barthen has been with Precinct 4 since September 2019.

SE: Harris Co. Pct. 4 Constable provides update on alternate shooting

It was not yet clear if the deputies were able to return the fire, according to Jones.

“I just left Hermann Hospital, where I was sitting in a room with one of my dead deputies who was assaulted by a coward,” Herman said outside the Memorial Hermann Hospital hours after it happened. “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in my career. I pray for all the thoughts and prayers of our community for their families.”

On Saturday, Pct. 4 said Houston police said they had a suspect arrested near the scene. On Sunday, authorities said that after interviewing this person, they do not believe he was the shooter.

“What happened tonight was bad,” Herman said. “And now the good is coming to sweep in, and I hope for quick justice. I know the Houston police will conduct a very thorough investigation.”

“My biggest concern is my wounded deputies and their families,” Herman continued.

Authorities searched for a Spanish man in his early 20s wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans believed to have been the shooter. He was described as a heavy settler with a beard.

There was a heavy police presence in the nightclub area and doctors could be seen by witnesses caring for people who were injured.

The sheriff’s deputies, deputy constables and police officers in Houston could also be seen searching an area by the highway, including a hotel at some point after the shooting.

Residents living near the area were also devastated when they heard the news.

“When I heard about this, I actually got on my knees and started praying because it happened again,” said a woman attending school in the area. “To know that this happened near my school is devastating.”

Around. 10, a parade was held for the fallen deputy from Memorial Hermann Hospital for the medical examination. Several other constable deputies lined up and paid their respects.

SE: Recorded in progress for fallen Harris Co. Pct. 4 deputies

This deadly shooting comes nearly a month after a Houston police officer was killed and another was injured during a shooting in northeast Harris County.

SEE MORE: Houston police officers shot: 1 officer killed, 1 wounded during execution of arrest warrant in NE Harris Co.

This is an evolving story.

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