By Tony Farkas
HOUSTON — San Jacinto Deputy Constable Neil Adams was killed during an altercation on Wednesday afternoon.
According to information from the Houston Police Department, officers are investigating the fatal shooting of Adams, 62, who was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital and pronounced dead.
The identity of the suspect, 35, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. He was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
County Judge Fritz Faulkner said Adams’ death is a sad thing.
“We lost one of our best. I don’t know what kind a monster would do such a thing,” he said. “He was a fine police officer, good-natured, as good a guy as you’d ever want to meet.”
Reports indicate that Adams, who was working at a second job apart from his duties in San Jacinto County, got into an altercation with the suspect at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. During the fight, the suspect took Adams’ weapon and shot him.
Adams was working security at PlazAmericas Mall on Bellaire Boulevard.
Two Houston officers, T. Salameh and M. Nasser, were dispatched to an assist, and upon arrival, were met by crowds of people exiting the mall stating that a black male wearing a blue shirt was involved in a physical altercation with an officer inside of a business, reports state.
The two Houston officers entered the mall and located the suspect coming from the second floor; the suspect was wielding a knife, reports state.
Salameh and Nasser attempted to get the suspect to surrender, but the suspect refused to comply and then charged at the officers.
The two officers discharged their duty weapons, striking the suspect, who fell, got up and attempted to flee. Officers then used a taser, causing the suspect to fall to the ground, reports state.
The suspect continued to resist but officers eventually were able to place him into custody. Paramedics then transported the suspect to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, reports state.
Officer Salameh was sworn in as an officer in May 2020 and Officer Nasser in February 2020. Neither officer was injured.
San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office extends its sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Deputy Constable Neil Adams, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Our hearts are broken; God has prepared a special place for him,” Capers said. He was a great guy — he was an up-and-comer, as was his wife; they were bound to do good things in this county.
On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement.
"Our hearts are with the family of Deputy Constable Neil Adams, who passed away (Wednesday) evening in Houston while working an off-duty security job at a local mall," Abbott said. "We are grateful for the dedication of our law enforcement officers who are committed to keeping us safe, whether on or off duty, and their immeasurable sacrifices are not lost on us.
“The State of Texas has offered assistance and support to the City of Houston as they investigate the shooting,” he said.
Adams, who was San Jacinto County’s Environmental Officer, also served as deputy constable for Precinct 1. He started as a dispatcher at the Sheriff’s Office, and then attended the Police Academy in 2012. He returned and went on patrol for the Sheriff’s Office, and in January 2020 began as the environment officer.
Precinct 1 Constable Roy Rogers said Neil was a conscientious officer, took care of job and was a people person.
The investigation will continue.