Texas sheriff’s deputy shot dead on Houston highway

Image copyright Hampton Police Image caption One of the guns investigators recovered from the car used by the suspect in Thursday’s attack

Police in Texas have arrested a man accused of gunning down a sheriff’s deputy and wounding two others in a rampage along a busy Houston highway.

Officers went to the scene after receiving an emergency call of gunshots.

Austin Souto, 34, is accused of first firing at a police officer, then opening fire with two semi-automatic pistols and also firing a shotgun into a concrete barrier.

He was suspected of killing a sheriff’s deputy and shooting at two other officers.

“We took every measure to locate Souto, but he eluded our efforts,” Sergeant Thomas Gilliland of the Houston Police Department told reporters.

“It appears that he purposely was trying to get away, we believe that. He’s lucky that he didn’t hit any of the responding police officers.”

The incident began when an officer spotted a man firing a shotgun near the Houston-area town of Friendswood. A police car followed the man into a strip mall.

The man walked outside, firing shots at a police car before hitting the officer in the head with a shotgun, and then another deputy in the face, the two authorities said.

The wounded officers returned fire, killing the man.

Cindy Cruz, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters: “He’s a suspect in all three of our shootings, at least one of them is believed to be his.”

Image copyright Hampton Police Image caption Two surviving sheriff’s deputies were not seriously injured

Two deputies, James Daniel Baldwin, 57, and David Walters, 37, were flown to a hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The gunman, who was shot three times, was taken to hospital where he was in serious condition, Hampton police Chief Clyde Habermehl said.

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