Houston Police Department officer Harold Preston was killed in the line of duty Tuesday by an illegal alien who had been taken into police custody just a day prior for brandishing a weapon and threatening to kill his ex-wife.
The suspect, Elmer Manzano, a convicted criminal from El Salvador with a record of multiple violent assaults, was ordered released by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg after she declined to prosecute. With no charges filed, Manzano was allowed to keep six bullets he had in his pocket at the time of his arrest, and a firearm he claimed was locked in a safe was not seized.
This set the stage for the tragic events that unfolded the following day when officers responded to another domestic violence call from the suspect's wife.
Local ABC affiliate KTRK reports:
The shooting unfolded around 7:55 a.m. at the Richmond Manor apartments in the 2600 block of Holly Hall and El Mundo, near Highway 288.
Acevedo said officers were responding to a domestic violence situation. When Preston, Waller and another officer arrived to the scene, the estranged wife of the suspect, identified as 51-year-old Elmer Manzano, told them she was moving out and wanted to retrieve items from the apartment.
Acevedo said HPD had two previous service calls at this same address over the weekend.
On Tuesday, the woman said the door was locked and Manzano wouldn't let her in. Officers spoke with her for an hour.
Around 9:25 a.m., Manzano's 14-year-old son, who was with the woman in the parking lot, managed to unlock the door and open it.
The son saw that Manzano had a gun and told officers. That's when Manzano fired multiple rounds, hitting Waller and Preston, Acevedo said.
Sgt. Harold Preston was due to retire at the end of the year after serving with HPD for 41 years.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who is on this year's ballot, took to Twitter, calling the incident "a tragedy" and sending her prayers "all first responders like Sgt. Preston, who stand between killers and victims on the front lines."
Perhaps instead of prayers, she could just do her damn job and stop taking money from foreign influencers looking to decriminalize crime.
Back in 2016, the Houston Chronicle reported that billionaire George Soros was injecting money into the D.A.'s race, backing Ogg with a half-million-dollar advertising buy.
Incumbent Republican District Attorney Devon Anderson's political consultant, Allan Blakemore, criticized the Soros ad buy, accusing Ogg of aligning with forces seeking to take over the district attorney's office.
"She has abandoned the values and standards of our community to become a puppet for those whose clear agenda is to corrupt the rule of law in Harris County," Blakemore said.
In a similar incident in May of this year, a man previously released by Kim Ogg committed 3 murders in southwest Houston over a 45-minute span. Two of the victims were innocent civilians killed during separate home invasions after the suspect fled the scene of a drug deal gone bad in a stolen car.
3 people were murdered last night in our city by the same suspect. Our officers worked diligently and courageously pursued him and took him into custody.— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) May 7, 2020
Our criminal justice system is failing to hold felons accountable resulting in increased violence and death. Speak up Texas! https://t.co/AMLQ02lSpY
Fox News covered the story on Fox & Friends Thursday. Watch below.
Sergeant Harold Lloyd Preston— Houston Police Officers' Union (@HPOUTX) October 20, 2020
Houston Police Department
Sworn Date: August 25th, 1979
End of Watch: October 20th, 2020
HPD Academy Class: 86
Years of Service: 41
Rest in Peace, brother. You will always be remembered and your sacrifice will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/kYNMmBioIN