Three Texas deputy constables were met with gunfire while working at a Houston area bar this past weekend, KHOU reported, leading to the death of Deputy Kareem Atkins, 30, and the wounding of two additional officers, Deputy Darryl Garrett and Deputy Juqaim Barthen.
The Harris County deputies were reportedly employed at North Houston’s 45 Norte Sports Bar as off-duty security personnel when the shooting occurred, according to KHOU. Shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, two officers attempted to arrest a robbery suspect when a second person allegedly shot at them in the bar’s parking lot.
A third deputy ran over to assist but was also shot.
“Three officers down!” Absolutely heartbreaking to hear the @Broadcastify scanner audio from this morning’s awful shooting. @Pct4Constable Deputy Kareem Atkins was killed, two other deputies are in the hospital. Our hearts go out to their families. More on @KHOU at 10. pic.twitter.com/cf2rjPpSj8
— Janelle Bludau (@JanelleKHOU) October 17, 2021
According to KHOU, Pct. 4 Constable Mark Herman spoke about the moments leading up to the early morning shooting, saying, “While they were trying to make an arrest of that suspect, they had him on the ground, and a second suspect came out of nowhere with a rifle and began to basically shoot our deputies,”
Garrett was struck in the back while Barthen suffered a gunshot wound to his foot before being rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to KHOU, Atkins was also transported to a hospital but unfortunately died from fatal injuries.
Following the horrific event that Constable Herman called an “ambush,” police have been viewing surveillance footage to identify a suspect. So far, no arrests have been made.
In an outpour of community support, Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets NBA team, offered $40,000 to be added to Crime Stoppers of Houston’s $10,000 reward. With an anonymous donor also contributing $25,000, there is now a total reward of $75,000, KHOU reported.
They hope that anyone with information will come forward and speak up on the tragic shooting.