HOUSTON (CBS Houston) The Bellaire police officer and bystander fatally shot on Monday have been identified. Now a community mourns the loss of what many are calling “two very hard working men.”
The incident began as a car chase, but it ended with shots fired and two families mourning the loss of two men on Christmas. That Belliare police officer and an innocent bystander became the victims of a shootout in southwest Houston Monday morning.
The officer was identified as 53-year-old Cpl. Jimmie Norman. According to reports, Cpl. Norman had planned to spend Christmas morning with his family after a colleague had volunteered to patrol his section.
Just before 9 a.m. on Monday, Norman tried to pull over an older-model black Honda heading down on Mapleridge near Jessamine. But the driver fled, sideswiping a white Ford F-150 truck.
Both Norman and the driver of the Ford started chasing the suspect, who quickly sped into the parking lot of a Maaco at Bellaire at Chetwood. It was then that Officer Norman got out of his squad car, approached the suspect’s vehicle and ordered him to get out.
Officer Norman then got into a physical altercation with the suspect and then shots were fired. The suspect fired several shots at Norman before he could retrieve his own gun. The suspect then turned the weapon on bystanders with at least 10 gun shots being heard by witnesses. When it was all said and done, Officer Norman, the suspect and a bystander later identified as the owner of the Maaco store had been shot.
Norman was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital, where police say he died shortly after arriving.
The bystander who was later identified as Terry Taylor, also was fatally shot after he rushed outside to help. Taylor operated the Bellaire Maaco business for over 20 years. Police say Taylor’s wife, Judy, was inside the store when he was fatally shot.
The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Harlem Harold Lewis. Reports indicate that Lewis was shot at least twice by another Bellaire officer before he ran down the street to another business. Police found him hiding between vehicles in a parking lot of another Bellaire business and discovered a .380 caliber weapon nearby.
Lewis who was then taken to Southwest Memorial Hermann Hospital hospital in critical but stable condition, is expected to survive and already has been charged with capital murder of a police officer, murder and felony evading in a motor vehicle.
It is believed that Officer Norman is the first Bellaire police officer to be to be killed in an officer-involved shooting. He was a 24-year veteran of the Bellaire police force and received many honors for valiantness.
Norman who was married and had two children is being remembered as an officer who “had a big heart.”