HOUSTON, Tx. – Prosecutors say that the man accused of shooting a Houston deputy constable this week opened fire on the officer because ‘the voices in his head told him to’.
Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Romando Lorenzo Powell. Powell is now facing charges of attempted capital murder of a peace officer after allegedly shooting at Deputy Quentin Goodwill during a traffic stop on Wednesday morning.
“In a recorded interview, after waiving his warnings, stated he shot the deputy intentionally because ‘the voices in his head told him to,'” prosecutors said about Powell.
Investigators say that the 24-year-old moved to Houston from Florida just two weeks ago.
ABC 13 reported that Powell lives with a church member and has worked as an armed guard at a children’s hospital, according to his lawyer. He has no criminal history.
Police say that the deputy constable’s bulletproof vest saved his life.
The Harris County Precinct 7 Constable’s Office reported that Deputy Quentin Goodwill stopped a driver in a silver sedan outside the Missouri City Park and Ride at 13849 Fondren Road just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday. When the deputy got out of his vehicle and approached the suspect’s car, the suspect immediately began opening fire.
Houston Police Assistant Chief H. Gaw said Goodwill had no time to react.
“Before the deputy had a chance to say anything, the suspect fired shots,” Gaw said.
The constable’s office said that no words had been exchanged before the gunfire began. The deputy was struck twice – once in the chest plate of his vest, and another in the deputy’s flashlight. He managed to get to cover by a nearby METRO station. Authorities say that he did not return fire.
“We checked out his whole body and looks like one round hit him in the chest, but the vest caught it. Did not penetrate through the skin,” the dispatch audio continued.
As the gunman threw his car into gear and sped away, a bystander who had witnessed the shooting immediately went to the deputy to make sure that he was okay.
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KHOU 11 reportedly spoke to a witness at the scene. They reported that the deputy constable was able to walk to a stretcher under his own power and was loaded into an ambulance. He was then taken to a nearby hospital and was treated and released later on Wednesday.
Approximately a half-hour after Goodwill was shot during the traffic stop, a silver Honda sedan with Florida plates – the one matching the description of the alleged gunman – was spotted in town by Houston police officers.
They attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled.
BREAKING OVERNIGHT: A scary close call! A @Precinct7 Deputy constable shot in the chest during a routine traffic stop along Fondren/Beltway in SW #Houston. He’s okay, saved by his bulletproof vest! The suspect is in custody. #khou11 #HTownRush pic.twitter.com/6y0N8gW13P
— Michelle Choi (@MichelleKHOU) August 21, 2019
After a short chase, police arrested Powell near the intersection of Post Oak Road and West Orem Drive, the police department said in a statement.
The National Fraternal Order of Police posted a tweet this morning with the hashtag, #EnoughIsEnough.
Yet another officer shot. This is the danger the brave men/women of law enforcement deal w/everyday. A simple traffic stop and in an instant the officer was shot. Thankfully officer’s vest stopped the bullet and suspect was caught. #EnoughIsEnough http:/ https://t.co/qflC3okqLE
— National FOP (@GLFOP) August 21, 2019
A search of his vehicle turned up a gun and body armor, police said. HPD, METRO police, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Harris County Precinct 7 and a private security firm were all on the scene.
Powell’s bond was set at $500,000.