Houston News & Search
Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Staff
One day after a veteran lawman was fatally gunned down, former Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has been placed under armed protection as new details emerged about the brazen daytime attack.
Police have not yet identified any suspects and wouldn’t offer specifics about why Anderson or other friends and former colleagues of slain peace officer Clint Greenwood have been offered security.
“It’s horrifying,” Anderson said Tuesday, of Monday’s shooting of the former prosecutor who previously headed the DA’s public integrity unit, which investigated police misconduct.
Less than a week before he was killed, Greenwood told county officials he felt threatened by a man he’d once targeted in a corruption investigation while he worked at the district attorney’s office.
“If somebody’s brazen enough to take an officer’s life, there obviously would be a little concern for the family (and friends) as well,” said Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris, referring to the extra protection as “precautionary.”
The killer remained at large late Tuesday despite an intense investigation by state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. Sources said investigators were looking at several possible suspects who may have had dealings with and grievances against Greenwood in the past.
Baytown police – who are leading the investigation – released a video Tuesday afternoon showing a suspect walking in the area of the shooting. Authorities described him as a white or Hispanic man, about 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall, with short hair and a medium to stocky build.
A public funeral service for the lawman will be held Thursday at Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway. Public visitation is set for 10 a.m., followed by the service at 11 a.m.
Dozens of people gathered Tuesday evening for a candlelight vigil at the Baytown courthouse annex, where Greenwood was shot. Earlier, a Back the Blue convoy with more than 60 trucks drove to the courthouse to support Greenwood and other law enforcement officers.
Greenwood was ambushed shortly after arriving at work about 7 a.m. Monday – shot at close range by a man who stepped out from behind a dumpster in the parking lot at the county building in Baytown, a source close to the investigation said Tuesday.
The gunman approached Greenwood as he was attempting to retrieve some items from the passenger side of his county vehicle.
“This guy just walks up … and pops him two times,” said the source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the case. “Clearly, this guy was there for one purpose.”
Greenwood, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot once in the chest and a second time in the neck. Two shell casings from a 9 mm handgun were found at the scene.
Greenwood was able to radio for help, saying, “I have been shot and I’m bleeding out,” sources said.
When responding officers arrived at the scene, Greenwood was still standing by his vehicle, holding the wound on his neck and pointing in the direction the gunman fled. He was taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
A law enforcement task force working to solve Monday’s slaying is hoping the combination of a $65,000 reward for information about those responsible for the shooting and surveillance footage will help them identify the shooter.
“It’s a hit, no doubt,” said one top federal official assisting with the investigation. “He basically got ambushed.”
Greenwood, 57, a former lawyer, law enforcement officer and prosecutor, started work in January as an assistant chief deputy constable in Precinct 3.
Greenwood spent much of his professional life working with law enforcement misconduct – as a defense attorney representing officers, as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office or heading internal affairs investigations for the sheriff’s office.
In January, he moved into a leadership position with the Precinct 3 Constable’s Office, where he had put together field training and use-of-force manuals.
Many of those who gathered for the Back the Blue convoy didn’t know the slain officer but wanted to send a message of support.
“It’s important to show that there are still strangers that care, people that care about one another,” said Frank Bejarano, 34, of Houston-Area Off Road Recovery. “Today, we’re basically going to get a convoy going to show our respect and show, hey, we got big trucks and big Jeeps and we stand behind them.”
Organizers said more than 130 trucks and 15 motorcycles honored the slain officer.
The event was arranged after Donna VanKirk, a group member who knew Greenwood, heard about his death.
“Clint taught me how to shoot,” she said. “We just decided this would be a great way to honor him.”
Andrew Kragie andBrian Rogers contributedto this report.
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