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Three Houston-area constable deputies shot, one killed

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A gunman with a rifle shot three off-duty Texas constable deputies early Saturday morning, killing one and injuring the others, Houston police said.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said all three deputies were transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where one was confirmed dead. One of the injured officers underwent surgery for a back injury and the second was awaiting surgery for a foot injury.

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Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief James Jones said police had a person of interest in custody, but it's unclear if the person was the shooter or a witness.

The three Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputies were working extra jobs at the 45 Norte Sports Bar in Houston at the time of the shooting, around 2:15 a.m. They had gone outside the bar to investigate a disturbance when Jones said they were ambushed from behind by a person with a rifle.

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"It turns out it may have been a robbery they were investigating in ... probably unknown to them at the time," Jones said during a news conference early Saturday.

"They were trying to arrest a suspect or detain a suspect ... when they were ambushed."

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Jones said police believe the shooter was a man in his early 20s.

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Herman said he hoped police would have the suspect in custody soon.

"It's probably one of the toughest things I've ever done in my career," he said. "My main concern is the families of the three officers involved.

"I hope for swift and quick justice for that individual because he ambushed my deputies."

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered his condolences for the deputy who was killed.

"Heidi and I are praying for the family of the Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputy who was killed and we are praying for the two other deputies who were wounded in a heinous ambush early this morning," he tweeted.

"We are grateful for the brave men and women of law enforcement who keep us safe every day."

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