Press Release

STATEMENT: Retired ATF Special Agent David Chipman Responds to Shooting of Multiple Law Enforcement Officers in Houston, Texas

Washington DC — News broke this evening that five police officers were injured in the line of duty in southeast Houston, Texas. Four officers were shot. A fifth officer suffered a knee injury not from gunfire. The officers were reportedly serving a narcotics warrant.

David Chipman, Senior Policy advisor at Giffords and a retired ATF Special Agent of 25 years issued the following statement on the shooting:

“Today, multiple brave officers were shot while serving their community, an act of violence that will devastate our nation’s law enforcement community. We’re holding their families, the Houston Police Department, and the entire community in our thoughts.

“We often think of the job law enforcement officers do every day to protect our communities. But all too often, we fail to think about how we can make the job safer for them. Police officers are trained to serve and protect our communities and our families, but our laws make it too easy for dangerous individuals to get their hands on a gun and use it. Lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels must acknowledge this problem and take swift action to pass legislation to prevent future shootings like this one from occurring.”

Dangerous loopholes in our nation’s gun laws pose serious threats to the safety of law enforcement officers. Firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of death for law enforcement over the past decade, with 52 officers killed from gunfire in just the last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Year-End Report.

It is clear that guns in dangerous hands make law enforcement officers vulnerable: of the over 500 individuals who have killed police officers between 2006 and 2015, 84 percent had previous arrest records, 64 percent were previously convicted of a crime, 47 percent had previous arrests for crimes of violence, and 43 percent had been arrested for weapons offenses. 24 percent of those responsible for the murder of law enforcement had previously been arrested for assaulting an officer or resisting arrest.

What We Know About this Incident

  • On Monday afternoon in Houston,Texas, four police officers were shot while serving a narcotics warrant while another was injured at the scene. (ABC13)
  • At least two suspects are dead on the scene. It’s unclear whether the scene is clear, or if there’s another suspect inside. (ABC13)
  • Two officers are in critical condition; three are stable. (Joe Gamaldi)
  • One officer was airlifted to the hospital. (AP)

Experts Available for Comment

Law enforcement and firearm policy experts from Giffords are available for comment this evening. To arrange an interview with an expert, please email [email protected].