Saturday, May 2, 2020

Houston Police helicopter crashes, killing 1 officer

One police officer has died and another was critically injured after a Houston Police Department helicopter crash early Saturday at a Greenspoint area apartment complex.

It happened just before 2 a.m. in the 17000 block of Imperial Valley near Benmar in the Greenspoint area as the crew was responding to a report of bodies in a nearby bayou.

The tactical flight officer aboard the aircraft died at Memorial Hermann Hospital, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

The pilot was last listed in critical condition, Acevedo said.

Video captured from the ground shows the aircraft begin to spin out of control just before it crashed into a building at the Biscayne at Cityview apartment complex on Imperial Valley Drive. Video from SkyEye 13 showed extensive damage to the building, though no apartment units were impacted.

Houston firefighters worked extensively to free the pilot and flight officer from the wreckage after a frantic search for the aircraft when it went down.

"We need prayers for these officers," Acevedo said.

Federal investigators will look into what caused the helicopter to malfunction. Acevedo has suspended HPD's air operations while the investigation continues.

The tactical officer who died was not yet identified by name. He was married with young children, according to Acevedo.