A 29-year-old Houston police officer is lucky to be alive today, after the vest he was wearing saved his life in an assassination attempt.

The officer was shot three times with his own gun.  He’s now out of a five-hour surgery and walking.

Here’s what happened. 

Thursday night at 10:26 p.m., shots rang out at Tristan and Scott Street in southeast Houston.

When it was all over, a 5-year member of the HPD was shot three times, a suspect was dead and officers had arrested two other suspects.

The man killed, as confirmed by the criminal’s family, was 17-year-old Brandon Bell.

Earlier this month he was arrested after police say he carjacked a campaign worker.

Court records show that Bell was scheduled to appear in court for the carjacking incident two days before this shooting happened.  He was out on PR bond for a criminal trespassing charge related to that same carjacking incident.

Brandon Bell mug shot

Mug shot for Brandon Bell

Police say Bell was the one responsible for shooting the HPD officer with his own weapon.  They are still looking for a fourth suspect.

“There was a struggle, there was a fight, there was a fight for the officer’s weapon, he lost control of his weapon, he got shot with his own weapon by the suspect, said HPD Chief Art Acevedo.

According to Acevedo, the suspects’ crime spree started with a carjacking at the Valero station at 5820 Scott St. near Griggs Road when four black men approached the driver of a 2003 Chevy Tahoe and stole it at gunpoint.

They picked the wrong vehicle – it turns out the Tahoe was out of gas. Shortly after, it sputtered to a stop and according to police, the four suspects abandoned the vehicle at 6200 Tierwester and took off on foot.

Police say just 10 minutes after the carjacking, the four held up a priest in a parking lot on Meriburr Lane.

“A priest. You heard that right. A priest in the parking lot was approached by four black males,” Acevedo said.

That priest was Father Desmond Ohankwere… who clearly had God on his side.

They apparently tried to kill him. Police say the men pulled the trigger twice, but the gun jammed…. So they beat the priest then took his two cell phones before taking off.

“This priest has indicated he was on his knees praying for his life,” Acevedo said.

Ohankwere told local media outlets that he only had his rosary with him during the incident, and that his arm was injured when he fell during the attack.

Police say from there, the suspects went up to another victim in her driveway.  This time it was a woman sitting inside her F-150 truck… who was greeted by the four suspects who they say knocked on the window with a pistol, ordered her to get out of the vehicle, and robbed her of her cellphone and purse.

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At 10:21 p.m., officers in an unmarked unit spotted the men on Tierwester near a Chase bank after having received two reports about what was going on.

Police took off after the suspects who were still running on foot.

It was about five minutes later when an officer exchanged gunfire with a male suspect – the man who was killed.

“It does appear they were on a violent spree, but of these four, two are in custody, one is DOA and one is on the run,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Acevedo, who has frequently come under fire for his attacks on the 2ndAmendment, quickly turned political in his press conference with Mayor Turner.

He said he is tired of the gun violence facing Houstonians.

“I don’t want to hear from politicians tomorrow about how much they care about my cop. If they aren’t here to talk to us about solutions, don’t bother showing up at the Houston Police Department,” Acevedo said. “We speak out, and either you do something or don’t show up. We don’t need you here if you’re just going to say universal background checks that help keep guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans of sound mind is not for Texas or this country.”

According to Acevedo, the officers involved in the shooting were wearing body cameras.  Police are asking anyone with information on the final suspect is asked to contact HPD or Crime Stoppers.

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