A social media post about a group of armed men in Kashmere Gardens led to a confrontation Friday evening with Houston police that left one teenager shot dead by an officer.

According to Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner, the department became aware of a social media post involving a group of males at an apartment complex on the 6700 block of Bennington Street shortly after 7 p.m. Finner didn’t offer details about the post, but officers arrived shortly before 9 p.m. and approached the group, who were visibly armed. 

According to police, the group ran and officers chased them. One of the fleeing suspects had a rifle, and Finner said he was told by officers that the suspect pointed the rifle in an officer’s direction. 

The officer, who has not been identified beyond being a six-year veteran of the force and currently assigned to the Northeast Division Crime Suppression Unit, fired several times, fatally striking him. No other officer fired their weapons. 

Finner said the suspect had not yet been identified, but that he had been told that the deceased teenager was around 17 or 18 years old. The chief said that official identification would come from the medical examiner’s office.

Finner said seven or eight other suspects were taken to the homicide division for questioning. Police recovered a total of five firearms, including the gun that the suspect had on the scene.

The officer who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave, following department policy. The department will do a two-pronged investigation from both an administrative and criminal perspective. 

Finner implored the community to “do a little bit better” when it came to making decisions and interacting with police.

“Family is hurting, and I’m praying for them. But at the same time, we cannot be out here, a group of us, with five guns. Because we’re going to get calls in and it’s on open social media,” he said. “We’re going to come out, we’re going to investigate. And if anybody would come into contact with police officers, do me one favor. Please just drop the guns, and let’s all get home safely.”

Finner alluded to past issues at the Summit at Bennington apartment complex, and called on residents to work with the police on preventing future incidents.

“It doesn’t mean that people here are bad people, OK? So we all need to get together and see what we can do in cleaning it up and helping,” he said. 

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Akhil Ganesh is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for the Houston Landing. He was previously a local government watchdog reporter in Staunton, Virginia, where he focused on providing community-centric...