Undercover police operation ends in officer being killed

By Calvin Palmer

An undercover police operation in Houston last night ended with a police officer being killed.

Henry Canales, 42, was shot in the parking lot of a Walgreens store at Hillcroft and Bellaire. He was part of an undercover team investigating stolen televisions.

At about 9:00 p.m., four people had contacted undercover officers and asked to buy stolen televisions, according to Houston police spokesman Victor Senties. The officers arranged to meet the potential buyers at the parking lot of the southwest Houston drugstore.

“At some point, the transaction was made and the money was exchanged,” Senties said.

After the transaction, Canales walked around to the front of a Budget rental truck parked on the lot. The buyer followed him and then pulled out a pistol.

In the exchange of gunfire, Canales was shot once and dropped to the ground. The buyer went to the back of the truck and a second undercover officer, identified as R. Lopez, ran up and tried to take the buyer into custody.

The man reached back and fired at Lopez who returned fired. The man, who has not been named, died at the scene. Lopez was not hit.

Three people with the buyer, including one female, left in a van. Police pursued and stopped them at the Southwest Freeway and Bellaire.

Canales was taken to Ben Ben Taub General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt described Canales as a dedicated officer.

“He was not only an outstanding officer but an outstanding individual,” Hurtt said.

Canales joined the Houston Police Department in 1993. He had worked in the auto theft division for seven years and before that was with northeast patrol for seven years.

He leaves behind a wife, a 15-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter.

[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]

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