Police officer, bystander killed after Houston car chase

POSTED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 3:02pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 3:11pm

A police officer and a bystander died from wounds suffered in a parking lot shootout after a car chase in a Houston metropolitan area Monday morning, police said.

Cpl. Jimmie Norman, a 24-year veteran of the Bellaire, Texas, police, died at a hospital, said Chief of Police Byron Holloway.

Holloway didn't identify the other man who was killed. He described him as a local businessman who "was coming to the aid of Officer Norman" after the chase ended in Houston and the shooting began.

The suspect was shot twice by other officers from Bellaire, Holloway said.

"Jimmy had a police mind and a big heart," said Holloway, who has been with the small, tight-knit department for 37 years. "He was always thinking about things that would better the department, better the city, better the working conditions of officers and better the way we could serve the citizens."

Norman, 53, was married and had two adult children, one of whom works with the police department, Holloway said.

The pursuit started after a driver refused to stop when a Bellaire police officer tried to pull over his vehicle, Houston police spokesman John Cannon said.

The fleeing car collided with a pickup truck, which then joined the chase, Cannon said.

Norman, who was a patrol supervisor, and the truck driver followed the suspect into an auto parts business parking lot, he said.

The suspect opened fire at Norman and shot and killed the local businessman, who came out to the parking lot. Backup officers arrived and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was struck twice, Cannon said.

Norman died later at Ben Taub General Hospital, police said. The suspect is listed in critical condition at a hospital.

"We owe a great debt of thanks to Officer Norman and the thousands like him who ask for not much more than to be a good police officer and to come home safe," Bellaire Mayor Phil Nauert said in a written statement.

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