Around 9:30 on Tuesday morning, HPD Sgt. Harold Preston was shot, along with another police officer, and later succumbed to his wounds. Sgt. Preston was set to retire this year after over 41 years of service to our city.
Sgt. Preston leaves behind a 23-year-old daughter, his fiancé, and his parents, whom he lived with and took care of.
The shooting suspect was identified as Elmer Rolando Manzano-Martinez, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. ICE officials identified him as a “convicted criminal alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.”
Police officers responded to calls twice over the weekend for domestic violence issues, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. Harris County DA Kim Ogg– Democrat, who is up for reelection this year, refused to file charges or detain him for ICE and released him back into the community.
Mary Nan Huffman, who is running against Kim Ogg this election cycle, released a statement that read:
“Houston Police Department Sergeant Harold Preston was killed in the line of duty today. As tragic as that is, his death was 100% preventable. His partner also was shot and will survive his injuries.
The suspect, Elmer Manzano, a convicted felon with multiple prior assaults on his record, was in custody just a day before this tragedy occurred.
On October 18, HPD Officers responded to a call from Mrs. Santos, stating that her ex-husband, Mr. Manzano, was at the location brandishing a gun, threatening Mrs. Santos and her children.
HPD Officers took Mr. Manzano into custody that day but Kim Ogg declined to take charges, instructing the Officers to release him, leaving the gun at the scene. Had charges been accepted, Mr. Manzano might be back on the street, but his gun and ammunition would have been seized and held as evidence.
No gun would have meant no dead officer.
Today, Officers responded to another call from Mrs. Santos. Mr. Manzano answered the door, firing gun shots at point blank range. The two officers were hit.
The actions of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg are inexcusable. While Mr. Manzano pulled the trigger, Kim Ogg put the gun in his hands. Her actions are directly responsible for the death of HPD Sergeant Preston.
The good people of Harris County mourn the tragic and senseless loss of HPD Sergeant Preston. They have an opportunity to ensure this does not happen again.
DA Ogg’s fate is in their hands. She is on the ballot today.
Vote to keep your streets, your neighborhoods, your homes, and family safe. Vote to keep the men and women of law enforcement from preventable perils. Vote to hold Kim Ogg responsible for HPD Sergeant Preston’s death.”
The problem runs much deeper than merely Kim Ogg’s refusal to file charges. We live in a “sanctuary city” where illegals are shielded from deportation by ICE. They simply refuse to tell ICE when violent offenders are arrested and then released, often with no charges filed, as was the case with Mr. Manzano.
Until we have a city government that acts to protect their community over party politics, tragic events like Sgt. Preston’s unnecessary death will continue to happen until we, the citizens of Harris county, elect officials who will protect the community over the party.