Shocking video footage has been released by police of the moment a traffic stop in Texas unexpectedly turned into a three-man gunfight between two police officers and a suspect.
One officer was shot at close range as gunfire suddenly broke out during what had appeared to be until then been a good-natured exchange with suspect Jimmy Bryan, 23, on a highway in Houston.
Footage was released by police this week of the shootout that took place at about 11:20 a.m. local time on Wednesday, May 4, in a gas station in the 14800 block of the Gulf Freeway, which is part of the South Interstate Highway 45. The footage can be seen here.
Various camera angles show how the shooting unfolded through footage from the Houston Police Department (HPD) officers’ body-worn cameras and the dash-cam footage from their vehicle. Officer J. Sallee and his partner, Officer M. McMurtry, are seen approaching the suspect’s vehicle after making the traffic stop.
McMurtry walks up to the driver who appears relaxed with an arm hanging out of the window. “What’s up, brother?” the officer says, and chuckles as he points out the car is not yet in park. He asks about the vehicle then says, “You got your driver’s license on you, buddy?” As the suspect looks around his car, supposedly for his license, and checks his phone, the officer asks: “You got any weapons on you, brother?” The suspect shakes his head and replies: “No, sir.” The officer notes the suspect is wearing an ankle monitor and repeats his request for his ID. But the suspect is unable to provide any, and McMurtry says, “Here, why don’t you do me a favor and take off your seatbelt and step out.”
The suspect does not make a move, and the officer asks if he’d heard him. He replies: “Are you requesting me, or…?” The officer says he is now “telling” him. But as the suspect opens his door, he opens fire, hitting McMurtry’s partner, Sallee, who had just walked around the front of the vehicle to join his colleague. Sallee falls to the ground but was able to grab his gun and begin shooting, while McMurtry has also begun shooting at the suspect, who was also firing. McMurtry runs around the car, reloading his gun as he does so, and Sallee begins to shout: “I’m hit!” McMurtry shouts: “Partner! Are you good?” Sallee screams again that he’s been hit, and McMurtry shouts “Goddammit!” As McMurtry comes around the front of the vehicle, both Sallee and the suspect can be seen lying on the ground and McMurtry throws the suspect’s weapon away from them all.
Sallee shouts out that he’s been hit in the femur, as more officers arrive at the scene. One calls for a tourniquet and another says to load him into their truck as Sallee tells them: “I’m bleeding a lot.”
Officer J. Sallee was shot in the lower pelvic area and was rushed to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital in a stable condition, HPD said. His partner, Officer M. McMurtry, was uninjured. Both men, who are assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Division, joined the HPD in June 2012.
HPD Chief Troy Finner told local news channel KPRC 2 that Sallee is expected to make a full recovery and added: “Thank God for his ballistic vest and flashlight, which may have saved his life.”
Bryan, 23, was shot multiple times and was also hospitalized in a critical condition. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault of a public servant, the use or carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and possession with intent to distribute meth.