Hero Down: Houston PD Sergeant Christopher Brewster Murdered In Line Of Duty
Houston, TX – Houston Police Department (HPD) Sergeant Christopher “Chris” Brewster was murdered in the line of duty as he was investigating a domestic disturbance on Saturday night.
The incident began at 5:47 p.m., when a woman called police to report that her boyfriend was assaulting her at a home in the 7400-block of Avenue I, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, according to KHOU.
The victim said that the suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Arturo Solis, was armed with two guns.
HPD officers arrived at the scene within approximately four minutes, but Solis and the woman had left the area, KHOU reported.
Sgt. Brewster was in the 7400-block of Avenue L when he spotted the woman at approximately 5:52 p.m., Chief Acevedo told reporters.
With his gun still holstered, the 32-year-old sergeant stepped out of his patrol vehicle and waved his hands to get Solis’ attention, KTRK reported.
The gunman then opened fire, hitting the veteran officer several times, according to KHOU.
At least one of the bullets hit Sgt. Brewster in the uppermost portion of his chest near his neck, just above his ballistic vest, Chief Acevedo said.
Despite being mortally wounded, Sgt. Brewster was able to alert his fellow officers about the shooting, which allowed them to contain the area, KHOU reported.
"Although he was mortally wounded, he had the presence of mind to draw his pistol out of his holster to protect himself in case the suspect came up and he also had the presence of mind and courage to put out and broadcast suspect information that was critical for the responding units," Chief Acevedo said, according to CBS News.
Solis fled the scene and was spotted jumping over fences as he made his way to a nearby school, where he was apprehended, KHOU reported.
Officers found him in possession of one semi-automatic handgun, and later located a second weapon and other evidence that he had allegedly discarded, CBS News reported.
Solis allegedly confessed to killing Sgt. Brewster, and told investigators that he shot him to avoid being arrested, KTRK reported.
He was charged with capital murder of a police officer early Sunday morning, and is being held in jail without bond pending his next court hearing on Monday.
Solis was previously convicted of multiple offenses, including burglary of a vehicle, evading arrest, and assault to a family member, The Houston Chronicle reported.
The woman Solis allegedly assaulted is cooperating with investigators, and did not suffer any serious injuries, CBS News reported.
Sgt. Brewster was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died at approximately 6:30 p.m., according to The Houston Chronicle.
Chief Acevedo said that the sergeant’s murder was captured on bodycam, CBS News reported.
"What people will see is a coward who took the life of a hero," the chief told reporters.
“I’ve lost a sergeant,” he said, according to CNN. “We’ve lost a friend.”
Sgt. Brewster graduated from the HPD Academy in November of 2010, the department tweeted late Saturday night.
He served as a patrol officer, and was also assigned to the Gang and Major Offenders Division.
In February, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and was assigned to the Eastside Patrol Division at the time of his death, the HPD said.
"I remember the joy, the conversations we had with him on the stage," Chief Acevedo said of the moment of Sgt. Brewster’s promotion, according to CNN. "And now here just a year later, he's gone because of a coward."
Sgt. Brewster leaves behind his wife, parents, and sisters, CBS News reported.
U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw tweeted that he was heartbroken to learn of the young sergeant’s murder.
“Chris risked his life every day protecting our community. He loved his job and was a true professional,” Crenshaw wrote. “Never forget him.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also tweeted his condolences on Saturday night.
“Our hearts are heavy tonight as a Houston Police Officer was killed in the line of duty,” Abbott wrote. “Send prayers to lift up the family of this slain officer. Tonight & Every Night we Back The Blue in Houston & across Texas.”
Houston Police Officer’s Union (HPOU) President Joe Gamaldi described Sgt. Brewster as being the “absolute best of us.”
“[He was] a true crime fighter, who loved his job and loved protecting the citizens of our community,” Gamaldi tweeted. “He did the job the right way and was a hero before his death. RIP Chris, you will be missed by us all but you will never be forgotten.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Houston Police Department Sergeant Christopher “Chris” Brewster, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Christopher Brewster, your life mattered.