Update on Incident at 6200 West Bellfort

May 14, 2007 - An autopsy has been completed on a robbery suspect fatally shot by a Houston police officer at 6200 West Bellfort about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (May 12).

The suspect, Hegnor Irias (H/m, DOB: 3-12-85), suffered a gunshot wound and died at the scene.

Homicide Division investigators said the apartment complex where the incident occurred had a digital surveillance system that captured images of a foot pursuit of the suspect and shooting. Copies of those images have been secured as evidence and provided to the Harris County District Attorney’s office for review.

The officer who discharged his weapon, Officer K.R. Barnes, assigned to the Fondren Patrol Division, was sworn in as an HPD officer in March 1998. Officer Barnes was not injured.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant S.R. Kennedy and Officer T.W. Miller reported:

Officer Barnes and his partner, Officer M.R. Roberts, responded to a robbery call to a parking lot at 6405 West Bellfort where a female victim reported being robbed at gunpoint of her purse. The victim provided a description of the suspect to the 911 operator and advised he left the location on a bicycle.

As officers were searching the area, they saw the suspect (Irias) go into the Bel Lindo Apartments at 6200 West Bellfort. Officer Roberts pursued Irias on foot into the complex as Officer Barnes drove the patrol vehicle in an attempt to cut off Irias' escape on the east side of the complex. Irias hid inside a fenced patio area of an apartment and managed to escape when confronted by Officer Roberts. Irias ran east through the complex and was confronted by Officer Barnes, who was now also on foot. Officer Barnes told the suspect to drop his gun, but Irias refused. When Irias ran toward Officer Barnes with his gun in his right hand, Officer Barnes said he feared for his safety and discharged his duty weapon twice, striking Irias one time as he ran by the officer. Officers called for paramedics, who later arrived and pronounced Irias dead. The suspect's 38-caliber revolver handgun was recovered at the scene.

Investigators have identified a second female robbery victim, and property belonging to her and the other female victim was recovered from the suspect.

An autopsy by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office revealed Irias was shot once in the upper middle part of his back. Final results of the autopsy, including standard toxicology tests, are pending. Preliminary reports at the scene had indicated Irias was shot in the front upper torso.

It is the policy of the Houston Police Department that the use of deadly force will be limited to those circumstances in which officers reasonably believe it is necessary to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death.

The speed of the encounter and the danger presented to the officer and other innocent parties will be evaluated, along with the findings of the medical examiner as part of the investigation.

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

JFC/MES 5-14-07
GO/JFC 5-13-07
Inc #069483207

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