HOUSTON, TX – On Wednesday, Elmer Rolando Manzano-Martinez, 51, was formally charged with capital murder, in the fatal shooting of Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston; and attempted capital murder, in the shooting of Houston Police Officer Courtney Waller.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg will seek the death penalty against Manzano-Martinez.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Preston and Ofc. Waller responded to a disturbance call at a Southwest Houston apartment complex, where they found a woman trying to move out, but her husband (Manzano-Martinez) would not let her inside. The woman's 14-year-old son opened the door, and the illegal alien began firing at the officers, who returned fire.
The SWAT team responded and Manzano-Martinez surrendered.
In the exchange, Manzano-Martinez was hit once in the abdomen, and his son was also hit in the shoulder. Both are recovering in an area hospital.
Sgt. Preston was hit multiple times in the head, and once in the spine. He was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Ofc. Waller, a three year veteran, was shot in the arm, and is recovering at a local hospital.
Sgt. Harold Preston was a 41-year veteran of the Houston Police Department, and was sworn into the department on August 25, 1979, according to the Houston Police Officer's Union. At the time of his death, he was only two weeks away from retirement.
In a press conference, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo stated:
“We've just lost a wonderful human being. He is leading with men and women on streets, instead of choosing to sit in an office drinking coffee and reading the paper. That is the man he was — he is a man who lived with elderly parents to take care of them. As good as he was as a cop, he was a better human being, that is just the guy that he was and we are going to miss him.”
As we have now learned, despite the fact that Manzano-Martinez is in the country illegally from El Salvador, he has a long history of being on the wrong side of the law in the state of Texas.
Manzano, according to Acevedo, has a lengthy criminal history and a history of domestic violence. We found two assault and one felony domestic violence cases in his past, along with a protective order. Here's an overview of what we found in court records across the state:
Here's an overview of what we found in court records across the state:
-In October 1994, Manzano was arrested for the unlawful carrying of a firearm in Dallas County. That case was dismissed after a year of deferred adjudication, according to Dallas County court records.
-In August 2000, Manzano was arrested for assault in Dallas County. He agreed to a plea of one-year probation in the case. His probation was later revoked and he was sentenced to 6 months in jail, according to Dallas County court records.
-In December 2000, Manzano was again arrested in Dallas County for assault. He agreed to a plea of one year of probation in the case. His probation was later revoked and he was sentenced to six months in jail, according to Dallas County court records.
-In May 2001, Manzano was yet again arrested in Dallas County for felony assault causing bodily injury to a family member. The charge was dismissed after two years of deferred adjudication, according to Dallas County court records.
-In December 2002, Manzano pleaded guilty to evading arrest with a motor vehicle in Harris County. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, according to court records.
-In 2004, in Harris County, a judge issued a protective order against Manzano, but there have been no court records of crimes or domestic issues since then.
Of course, both the cities of Dallas and Houston have had long histories of employing 'sanctuary policies,' in regards to criminal aliens, which would explain the accused killer's lengthy residence in Texas.
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick announced that federal charges were being filed against Manzano-Martinez for being an alien in possession of a firearm, and a felon in possession of a firearm.
An ICE detainer has been filed with the Harris County Sheriff's Office for Manzano-Martinez.