Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland vowed to track down the person who shot one of his officers only minutes after a successful narcotics investigation in the Third Ward.
"We will go to all four corners of the earth to hunt you down," McClelland warned outside the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute where veteran HPD Officer Kenneth Fregia was treated for a gunshot wound to his leg.
Fregia, 45, was shot shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday after he and other HPD officers served a search warrant at a home in the 3100 block of Anita. McClelland said two people were arrested at the home but are not considered to be linked to the shooting.
Police at the scene heard what sounded like a gunshot. Fregia was outside, talking to other officers when he felt a sharp pain.
"He had been shot one time in the rear right leg," McClelland said.
Fregia was rushed to the Texas Medical Center for treatment and was released about two hours later.
"He's in good condition," a relieved McClelland said. "He does have a bullet fragment that's still lodged in his right leg."
The officer, a seven-year department veteran, is assigned to the tactical unit at HPD's South Central Division.
"He's a very hard-working officer. He's very dedicated and very professional," said Fregia's commander, HPD Capt. Heather Morris.
It's not unusual for tactical officers to work alongside narcotics investigators.
"We have made controlled buys of illegal narcotics at that location," McClelland said.
At the scene, Houston police cordoned off the area after the shooting. Investigators gathered evidence and questioned people in the neighborhood as HPD patrol cars slowly crisscrossed the narrow streets for any sign of the assailant. Department officials acknowledged they did not know who opened fire at Fregia or why.
"He has no knowledge of where the shot may have come from," McClelland said. "It is certainly still an active scene."
HPD officials could not confirm if Fregia was targeted. Although he was not in uniform at the time, HPD officials said he wore a distinctive "raid jacket" that clearly identified him as a police officer.
McClelland said Fregia is married and has two children. There will be more medical procedures, but HPD officials said they expect the officer to make a full recovery.
"At some point in the future, he will return to his normal duties," McClelland said.
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