Houston police officer near Democrat debate shot, priest assaulted in violent crime spree

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A Houston police officer was seriously wounded Thursday after being shot multiple times by one of four suspects who allegedly stole a car at gunpoint and later beat up a priest.

The shooting occurred about a mile south of the Democratic presidential debate at Texas Southern University in Houston. One of the debate's key topics was gun control.

Chief Art Acevedo asked for prayers for the unidentified 29-year-old officer, who he said was in guarded condition. He said one of the suspects was shot and killed in the exchange of fire, two other men were in custody and police were searching for the fourth.

Acevedo said the chaotic evening of violence began about 9:56 p.m. Thursday with the carjacking, but the vehicle soon ran out of gas and the suspects fled.

Police believe the men then assaulted a priest and stole his cell phone. The firefight took place about 15 minutes later. At least one officer, potentially two, exchanged gunfire with the armed suspect. He was shot and killed, Fox 26 reported.

The wounded police officer is a five-year veteran on the force. KHOU11 reported that he was shot three times and the bullets hit him just below the vest. He was awake and talking while he was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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