Shooting of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas
|Shooting of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas|
Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas were killed in a no-knock police raid
|Location||7815 Harding St, Houston, TX|
|Coordinates||29°42′35″N 95°16′55″W / 29.709618426552964°N 95.28185210233502°W|
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|Date||January 28, 2019|
|No-knock police raid|
|Injured||5 police officers|
Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas were a white couple who were shot to death in their own Houston home by police performing a botched no-knock raid using information falsified by two black drug officers, Gerald Goines and his partner Steven Bryant.
St. John Barned-Smith and Keri Blakinger of the Houston Chronicle described the event as "one of the worst [scandals] to hit HPD in years".
Acting on information provided by Houston Police Department (HPD) narcotics officer Gerald Goines, HPD officers raided the home with a no-knock warrant.
According to HPD's version of events, the officers shot the family dog on entry as it attacked them, Tuttle was armed and engaged the officers, while Nicholas was unarmed and apparently shot when reaching for a wounded officer's shotgun. The policemen suffered a total of four bullet wounds from a man who was armed with a six-shot revolver.
An independent forensics review disputes HPD's version of events. The family dog was not shot on entry, but at the edge of the dining room, 15 feet from the front door. The review also found no evidence that occupants inside the home returned fire at the officers. The .357 Magnum firearm Tuttle was alleged to have shot at officers with was not entered into evidence, and no bullet holes were found in the house matching that caliber, nor any evidence that any firearms owned by the couple were fired at the officers. The review team found a lot of evidence still left at the scene and characterized it as "sloppy," including human teeth in a pool of blood, uncollected firearm shells, and clothing with evidence tags left attached.
Tuttle sustained up to nine bullet wounds. His head and neck; his chest; his left-side shoulder, forearm, hand, thigh, and buttock; and his right wrist were affected by gunshots. Other injuries include "minor blunt force" ones hitting his left ear, extremity wounds, bullet grazing on the right forearm, neck lacerations possibly caused by a necklace, and upper left-side abdomen abrasions.
Nicholas sustained two bullet wounds, with other injuries tentatively attributed to bullet fragments. Nicholas had been hit in the thigh and chest, and fragments may have affected the right-side leg and thigh.
The injured police officers were treated at Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center. Four of them had received injuries from bullets and another had a knee injury. Houston's police chief, Art Acevedo, said a backup police officer shot Nicholas.
Goines has since admitted he fabricated the confidential informant. Investigators have found Goines lied repeatedly about casework, was having sex with his informant and had loose drugs and a stolen gun in his car. Goines has been charged with two counts of murder due to the botched raid.
Steven Bryant, Goines' partner, was charged with tampering with a government document.
The discovery of the depths of evidence fabrication by Goines has lead prosecutors to review about 14,000 cases involving him. Two people, Steven and Otis Mallett, have already been declared innocent and released from jail as a result of the review.
In July 2020, additional felony charges of falsifying documents were levied against Goines and Bryant, as well as newly charged officers former sergeants Clemente Reyna and Thomas Wood, former lieutenant Robert Gonzales, and former senior officer, Hodgie Armstrong.
- ↑ Barned-Smith, St. John; Keri Blakinger (2019-03-04). "DA reviewing 800 cases of second officer involved in deadly Pecan Park drug raid". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
- ↑ Weingarten, Dean (2019-02-12). "No-Knock Houston Raid Inventory Raises Questions after 2 Killed, 4 Wounded". AmmoLand.com. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
- ↑ Sullum, Jacob (5 May 2019). "Houston Police Shot Man Killed in Fraudulent Drug Raid at Least Eight Times". Retrieved 30 July 2019.
- ↑ Hutchinson, Bill (2019-02-17). "Houston police embroiled in scandal after 'lies' found in no-knock warrant that led to fatal raid on alleged drug house". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Evidence-left-behind-after-botched-Pecan-Park-13842488.php
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 https://www.click2houston.com/news/autopsy-reports-completed-for-victims-in-botched-harding-street-raid
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Ketterer, Samantha (2019-01-29). "HPD chief Acevedo IDs suspects, gives update on injured officers". wikipedia:Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
- ↑ Barned-Smith, St. John; Nicole Hensley (2019-01-28). "4 HPD officers shot in southeast Houston narcotics operation, a fifth injured". wikipedia:Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/harris-county/2020/02/26/361921/da-investigating-69-convictions-related-to-former-hpd-officer-goines/
- ↑ https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Gerald-Goines-the-Houston-police-officer-at-14856761.php
- ↑ https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Gerald-Goines-ex-cop-at-center-of-Harding-Street-14848925.php