Houston, TX – Harris County sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a 17-year-old motorist on Wednesday evening, after the teen led them on a pursuit and then shot at them.
The incident began at approximately 3:50 p.m., when the unnamed teenage driver sped around a school bus that had stopped to let students out on Stuebner Airline Road, Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Assistant Chief Tim Navarre said during a press conference.
The bus lights were activated at the time of the incident.
A Harris County deputy on patrol witnessed the driver passing the stopped school bus and attempted to pull the teen over.
The suspect fled, leading deputies on a 10-minute pursuit through subdivisions, Chief Navarre said.
The driver eventually headed south on Stuebner Airline Road, where he crashed into a ditch while attempting to make a U-turn.
Approximately five deputies had joined the pursuit by that time, Chief Navarre said.
One of the deputies yelled at the teen to show his hands through the open driver’s window of the crashed car.
“The driver, [who] was the only one in the vehicle, reached down, grabbed a pistol, and started firing at them,” Chief Navarre explained. “Deputies returned fire and put the man down.”
The deputies rushed towards the suspect’s vehicle and pulled him out of the driver’s seat, but he had already died, the chief said.
The shooter has been identified, but his name has not been released, Chief Navarre said.
He was described as a white male who had no known criminal history.
Chief Navarre said investigators “have no idea” why the driver began shooting at police.
“I mean, all he did was pass a school bus when he shouldn’t have,” the chief said.
Investigators ultimately determined that the teen’s weapon was a replica 1911 pellet gun, the department said in a tweet.
He fired at the deputies “somewhere between three and eight” times, Chief Navarre said.
The deputies fired “multiple” rounds, but it was unclear how many times the teen was hit.
None of the deputies were hurt during the altercation.
The Harris County Homicide Unit will investigate the incident.