Houston police investigate shooting at Gulf Freeway
Police are investigating after an off-duty officer shot an alleged knife-wielding man early Tuesday morning at an area Denny’s.
Clemente Vela, 32, is facing a charge of aggravated assault after he allegedly used a knife to confront an off-duty police officer at 3 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the Denny’s located at 9801 Gulf Freeway.
Investigators say the incident began when off-duty officer J. C. Lopez, of the South Central Patrol Division, visited Denny’s in the early hours of Tuesday morning with family and friends, including his brother, who had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Vela, a co-worker and his cousin, also a Marine recently returned from Afghanistan, entered Denny’s later after a night of drinking at a local strip club, according to the news release.
A disturbance between the two groups erupted and Lopez exited the restaurant to call 911, where, he says, he witnessed Vela, allegedly armed with a knife, approaching his friends and family. Lopez shot Vela after he would not drop the weapon, according to the release.
When police arrived, they arrested Vela and transported him to the hospital.
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