Houston Police Officer Shot During Drug Raid was a Hero in a Prior HPD Officer's Shooting
In an odd twist of fate, the Houston Police Officer, Nash Patel who was shot today during the execution of a narcotics raid as part of a nationwide strike against Mexican drug cartels (Operation Bombardier) was a hero in a previous drug cartel raid in which HPD Officer Rick Salter was shot and critically wounded.
In October of 2008, Officer Salter was the first through the door on a drug raid in Houston. He was shot in the face at point blank range by an illegal alien drug dealer who had previous dealings with HPD yet remained in the US. Officer Nash Patel, who was shot in today's raid, was right behind Salter and lifted Salter up on his shoulder and carried him to the safety of a nearby ambulance perhaps saving his life.
Today, the tables were turned and someone else had to help Officer Nash to safety after he was shot. Fortunately, Officer Nash's injuries appear to be much less severe and it appears he will make a full recovery.
It is Houston Mayor, Annise Parker and her police chief, Charles McClelland who may have actually dodged a bullet today. During her campaign for mayor, Parker promised to implement the ICE program 287g to help remove criminal illegal aliens from our streets. Her second week in office, I appeared before City Council and asked Mayor Parker if she was going to live up to her promise. She assured me, and the public, that as soon as she hired her new chief, that would be a top priority. She then, instead, followed the leadership of her predicessor by hiring one of Chief Harold Hurt's assistants to be her new chief. At that point, things changed and Mayor Parker announced Houston would instead be staying with the "Secure Communities" program implemented by Mayor White and Chief Hurt.
As of this writing, I am waiting for information about the criminal drug dealer who shot Officer Patel. It has been reported that the drug dealer is an illegal alien. Was this person previously in the custody of HPD? Had he been previously deported and allowed back into the country because of lax border security? What opportunities have authorities had to previously remove this criminal from our streets?
These are question we will find the answers to and report back to you. In the mean time, thank God Nash Patel is going to survive and return to the work he loves. And thank God he was there that day when Rick Salter needed his help. Police officers watch each other's backs even when city officials won't.
Today's raid was part of a nationwide response to the murder of a ICE Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico earlier this month. We will have more on this operation later.