A Houston-area police sergeant was killed when a man wanted on a domestic violence warrant broke free from police while being handcuffed, fled from a traffic stop and struck her with his vehicle, police said.
The search continued early Wednesday for the man, who police said likely still has one handcuff attached to his wrist. Police have not released his name.
Nassau Bay police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan was assisting in a traffic stop Tuesday night at an apartment complex when police discovered the driver had an outstanding warrant for assault on a family member, Nassau Bay Police Chief Tim Cromie said.
Police were in the process of handcuffing and arresting the man when he escaped the officers and got into his vehicle, Cromie said.
The man then drove off, striking Sullivan, who later died at a hospital, Cromie said. The vehicle was discovered abandoned and police believe the man ran away.
Sullivan, 43, was approaching her 16-year anniversary with the Nassau Bay Police Department and had worked on the night shift, Cromie said, calling her “a consummate professional in police work.”
“She was a police officer at heart. She came to work every day, she enjoyed the job,” he said. “Her blood ran blue. She was a police officer’s police officer.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is leading the search for the suspect. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sullivan’s death was “another grim reminder” of how dangerous police work can be, noting that the community is still mourning the Saturday death of a Houston police officer and the September shooting death of a Harris County deputy.