In what police officers are citing as a targeted attack on law enforcement, a Texas Deputy Constable was rushed to the hospital this morning in critical condition after having been ambushed and shot four times following a traffic stop in Harris County. Fortunately, the deputy is expected to survive.
Officials have identified the shot officer as Harris County Deputy Constable Alden Clopton, and state that after having to undergo several hours of surgery early Thursday he has since been moved to the critical care unit and is supposedly doing well. Doctors are optimistic that Deputy Clopton, an 11-year veteran with the force, will recover following the violent shooting. He will however, face a very long and tedious recovery process.
In relaying the details of the shooting, Pamela Greenwood, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Precinct 7 constable’s office, advised that the ambush took place outside of a convenience store at about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, according to the Washington Post.
Clopton was a mentor with the department as well and it seems that after assisting a reserve deputy trainee with a traffic stop, the deputy was leaning into her patrol vehicle while the two were conversing at a convenience store in midtown Houston when the shooter approached the constable from behind and shot him. Both officers were in uniform and the vehicle was a marked patrol car, bringing investigators and Greenwood to the belief that the ambush was a target upon law enforcement.
“It was completely unprovoked.”
Six shots were fired at the Texas Constable, who had no time to react and return fire, with four shots hitting him. One of the shots went into the car while the other hit the ground. The trainee deputy, who had been in the car talking to Constable Alden at the time of the shooting, was not hit but was only able to fire one shot at the shooter following the ambush. Police are unsure if the bullet hit the fleeing suspect. The convenience store allegedly has a camera which caught the entire ambush on tape. That recording has not yet been released to the public.
Most of the shots which hit the 11-year veteran, who is married with five children, somehow got past the bulletproof vest that Constable May Walker advised he had been wearing, and lodged themselves in his abdomen, but one of those bullets landed mere inches from Constable Alden Clopton’s heart. A KHOU report says that much of the time the officer spent in surgery was in trying to protect his heart from that too-close-for-comfort bullet.
Breaking News: HPD investigating after Precinct 7 Deputy Constable shot. A full report ahead on KPRC 2 NEWS TODAY. pic.twitter.com/v8pbNmvPr8— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) April 14, 2016
There were no shortage of officers to speak to regarding the shooting of one of their own, and another spokesperson with the department, Kese Smith, said that after the suspect fled on foot, someone matching his description turned up at a nearby fire station but it seems that this person claimed to be suffering from some mental issues. He is nonetheless being questioned by investigators though they have stated that it is as a person of interest and not as a suspect, so no arrest is expected at this time. Thus far, no suspects have been identified in the ambush shooting of the constable.
Clopton comes from a family of officers, having three brothers who are all on the force as well.
The traffic stop is not believed to have any relation to the ambush of Harris County Deputy Constable Alden Clopton. Constable Walker believes that his vest may have saved his life and wished him a speedy recovery, asking that the community pray for him.
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