Authorities in Houston have identified Jeffery Ryan Conlin as the man they suspect in the deliberate hit-and-run that killed Houston Police Officer Richard Martin early Monday, reports said. Conlin was arrested after he allegedly struck Martin with a stolen minivan during a high-speed chase.
Officers who responded to a robbery at a Houston store began their pursuit of Conlin, 33, who first drove a U-Haul truck, in the early hours of Monday. At some point during the chase, Conlin abandoned the U-Haul and carjacked a minivan, firing a gun out the stolen car’s window throughout the pursuit, KPRC-TV, Houston, reported.
Martin, 47, a father of two who had worked at the Houston Police Department for four years, was fatally struck as he attempted to lay down spike strips to cut off the suspect's escape. “We have every belief to indicate to us that the suspect intentionally struck and killed Officer Martin,” Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland told KPRC-TV.
— Sayreville Truth (@SayrevilleT) May 18, 2015
Police captured Conlin in the Houston suburb of Little York. He had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the time of his arrest, but was alive and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, KTRK, Houston, reported. If he survives, Conlin will face capital murder charges in Martin’s death -- a crime punishable by the death penalty, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said.
Sources confirm the suspect that ran over HPD Officer Richard Martin is 33 y/o Jeffery Ryan Conlin. pic.twitter.com/x1RGgSNqGk
— Tracy Clemons (@TracyABC13) May 18, 2015
Martin was pronounced dead at the scene of the hit-and-run. The Houston Police Department mourned his death in a statement posted to its Facebook account.