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Incident at 5018 Curtin

January 8, 2007 -- A suspect who threatened Houston police officers and family members with a deadly weapon was fatally shot by an officer at 5018 Curtin about 5:25 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 7).

The deceased suspect is identified as Omar B. Esparza (H/m, DOB 2-21-85). The officer who discharged his duty weapon, R.D. Chaison Jr., was not injured.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant T. Huynh and Officer K. Carr reported:

Patrol officers were dispatched to the residence at 5018 Curtin about 3:15 p.m. for a disturbance involving a male. The caller reported the male was very violent and armed with a hammer. Officers arrived and were met by the suspect's parents as they stood outside. The parents informed officers the suspect had assaulted his sister and was destroying the house with a hammer. The parents further told officers they needed their assistance in taking the suspect to the Neuro Psychiatric Center at Ben Taub General Hospital.

Officers attempted to communicate with the suspect through the door, with no positive result. The suspect threatened he would beat officers with the hammer. At that time, an officer with the Crisis Intervention Team was called and arrived to establish communication with the suspect and diffuse the situation. Officers spent nearly two hours talking to the suspect, but he would not put down the weapon and continued to show aggressive behavior, including threatening officers with the hammer. When officers encountered the suspect inside the home, the suspect charged at them with the hammer raised above his head as if he was about to strike the officers with it. One officer fired his soft impact weapon (beanbag rounds) several times at the suspect, but the rounds had no effect because the suspect was wearing multiple layers of clothing. The suspect continued to charge at officers and a second officer deployed his Taser, but the Taser darts did not make contact with the suspect. As the suspect got even closer to officers with the hammer raised in a
threatening manner, Officer Chaison fired his duty weapon several times, fatally wounding the suspect.

Officer Chaison, assigned to the South Central Patrol Division, was sworn in
as an officer in May 2001.

As is customary in officer-involved shootings in the city limits, the incident is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions and the Harris County District Attorney's office.

JFC/TCJ 1-8-07
Inc #003392207

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.