An off-duty Houston police officer shot and killed a suspect beating up a man outside a convenience store.
C. Rodriguez, a 22-year HPD veteran, was in civilian clothes in his pickup truck when he passed two men hiding behind a dumpster by a convenience store. He drove back to investigate the shifty activity.
That’s when the men jumped out and began to attack a man leaving the store.
"Before he knows it, he sees them assaulting and beating the victim," said spokesperson John Cannon.
Without leaving his truck, Rodriguez rolled down his window and ordered the men to stop. One showed the cop his gun and began to approach Rodriguez—and Rodriguez shot him.
“Thankfully our off-duty officer is OK,” said Cannon. “He was inside the truck the entire time, the suspect was walking toward him, gaining ground on him, facing him—right on—showing the pistol. At that point the officer wasn’t taking any chances.”
The suspect, later identified as 17-year-old Oscar Gaspar, ran to a house across the freeway, collapsed, and died.
Cannon said the Houston Police Department will be investigating the gun the suspect flashed.
"Obviously, like we do in any other case, we will do testing on it to see if it comes back, see how it was purchased or if it was stolen," said Cannon.
But some witnesses on the scene deny that Gaspar ever had a gun.
"When they searched him in front of me, I didn’t see them find anything,” said Victor Hernandez, 13.
Police arrested the second attacker. The victim was not seriously injured and is recovering.
The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the homicide and internal affairs division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Police also confiscated surveillance cameras at the crime scene.