Helicopter Crash Kills Houston Police Officer, Injures Another
A Houston Police officer is dead and another critically injured after a helicopter crash in the Greenspoint area early Saturday morning.
The two officers were aboard the HPD helicopter identified as 75 Fox looking into reports of dead bodies in a nearby bayou.
The helicopter went down around 2 a.m. and clipped the side of an apartment clubhouse. Police Chief Art Acevedo called it a silver lining and a miracle that the officers managed to avoid any occupied buildings during the crash. No one else was injured.
“If that aircraft would have crashed into a occupied building, who knows, it would have been a very ugly scene,” Acevdeo said.
It took Houston firefighters about an hour to cut through the mangled wreckage and get to the officers. Acevedo said firefighters did a “phenomenal” job rescuing the officers without the craft erupting into flames.
The flight’s tactical officer Jason Knox was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann hospital but died of his injuries. Knox’s body was escorted to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences by a caravan of police cars.
Knox is survived by his two children and wife. His father is Houston City Council member Mike Knox, a retired Houston Police officer.
The pilot was critically injured and was still in surgery hours after the crash. Officials have not yet released the officer’s name.
It is with heavy hearts we mourn the loss of @houstonpolice Tactical Flight Officer Jason Knox.— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) May 2, 2020
Our thoughts & prayers go out to his wife, two young children, his parents, @MikeKnox1Hou and Mrs. Knox, his extended family, colleagues & friends. pic.twitter.com/5h8SfzXJX5
Acevedo said HPD will suspend its flight operations as investigations into the incident continue.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate. Houston Police will also launch a criminal homicide investigation.
Multiple gunshots were reported in the area Saturday morning around 3 a.m. and six people were taken into custody.
Acevedo said there was so far no indication the helicopter was a target, but vowed investigators would leave “no stone unturned.”