A suspect shot by a Houston police officer earlyWednesday morning is expected to survive and face the charge Possession of aControlled Substance.
HPD spokesperson Victor Senties says the suspect wasapproached by two officers with the department's Crime Reduction Unit in thePalace Inn parking lot, off the East Tex Freeway at the Beltway in NorthHouston, at about 12:40am. Officers said they smelled marijuana coming from avehicle near the suspect. Senties says the commanded the suspect to show hishands. Not only did the suspect refuse, police say he got belligerent and gotinto his vehicle.
"The suspect was given every opportunity to obeycommands and get out of the vehicle. He refused to do so," Senties said atthe scene. The suspect was allegedly combative and appeared to be reaching forwhat could have been a weapon in his car. That's when he was shot by one of theofficers.
"When you've got a suspect who refuses commands, andwho is reaching into a darkened vehicle with tinted windows, our officers haveno idea what he's reaching for," Senties said. "They have to makethat split decision to protect themselves."
Senties says a search of the vehicle did not turn up aweapon, but they did find methamphetamines. The suspect's car was towed awayfor further processing.
Senties identified the suspect as 32 year old Jan MichaelVincent. Vincent has at least threeprior arrests for drug offenses. He was with a female at time police confrontedhim. Senties says she was being questioned but it was unknown if she was goingto face any charges.
Senties identified the police officer who shot the suspectas D. Morelli, who has been with HPD since 2006. Officer Morelli will be placedon routine 3 day administrative leave. HPD's Internal Affairs Division and theHarris County District Attorney's office will investigate the shooting.