Posted on October 22, 2020

Houston Police Officer Dead, 1 Hurt; Illegal Immigrant Suspect in Custody

Louis Casiano et al., Fox News, October 20, 2020

An illegal immigrant from El Salvador was in custody Tuesday after one Houston police officer was shot and killed and another wounded at a southwest Houston apartment complex, authorities said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed the arrest and officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) later told Fox News that the suspect was in the U.S. illegally.

The slain officer was identified as Sgt. Harold Preston, a 41-year veteran of the force.


The wounded officer, identified by Mayor Sylvester Turner as Courtney Waller, is a three-year veteran of the department who was shot in an arm. He was expected to recover.

The suspect was identified as Elmer Rolando Manzano-Martinez, 51. ICE officials identified him as a “convicted criminal alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.”

Elmer Rolando Manzano-Martinez

Following his arrest Tuesday, ICE officials from the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) unit placed an immigration detainer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, ICE said in a statement.


The Houston Police Officer’s Union tweeted Preston was weeks away from retirement. He was sworn into the department on Aug. 25, 1979, the union said.

Acevedo said the officers were responding to a domestic violence call around 8:15 a.m. Manzano-Martinez’s estranged wife told Preston, 65, Waller and another officer that she was moving out of the apartment and needed to get some items inside.

Manzano-Martinez’s 14-year-old son was with his mother and the officers in a parking lot for an hour before the teen opened the door to the unit just before 9:30 a.m. He saw his father with a firearm and teen warned the officers before Manzano-Martinez fired multiple rounds in their direction, Acevedo said.

Preston was hit multiple times, including more than once in the head. {snip} Manzano-Martinez surrendered after barricading himself inside the apartment.

Police officers responded to the unit twice over the weekend for domestic violence issues, Acevedo said. {snip}


The suspect has been arrested at least four previous times, dating to 1994, Houston’s KHOU-TV reported. The charges have included unlawful carrying of a firearm in October 1994; assault in August 2000 and December 2000; felony assault and causing bodily injury to a family member in May 2001; and evading arrest with a motor vehicle in December 2002, the station reported.