Taza Khabre

Sheriff’s deputies shot a woman at a friend’s house in Houston, authorities say

A Houston woman was shot at her friend’s apartment this month by sheriff’s deputies who responded to a burglary report and fired multiple shots into the home, according to statement and body camera footage released by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Early on Feb. 3, the woman, Eboni Pouncy, and her friend broke a window to get inside after forgetting their house key, according to statement civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Ms. Pouncy, announced last week.

The women were startled when, after 2 a.m., deputies began pounding on the door, Mr. Crump said. Fearing an intruder, Ms Pouncy raised her legally registered firearm and was shot five times shortly afterwards, he said.

Paramedics took Ms. Pouncy to a hospital for treatment, the sheriff’s office said. Although the nature of her injuries was unclear, Mr. Crump said in a statement that she is recovering.

According to Harris County Sheriff’s Office, two deputies responded to a report of an intruder in an apartment on the east side of the city around 2:10 a.m., but did not find anyone inside. Shortly after, the tenant of the apartment next door told deputies that someone had broken into another apartment on the second floor, the sheriff’s office said. When deputies went to investigate the break-in, they found a front window pane removed, glass broken and blinds up near the front door, the sheriff’s office said.

The video, taken from lawmakers’ body cameras and released Saturday, shows two lawmakers, who appear to be women, walk up the stairs of an apartment, knock on the front door and then retreat a few feet away. One of the deputies says she sees someone coming and yelling, then both deputies start shooting through the glass windows. Both reload their guns and continue firing several times.

The sheriff’s office is investigating the shooting and has placed both deputies on administrative leave. No criminal charges have been filed. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the shooting, standard practice when law enforcement officers use potentially deadly force.

Neither the sheriff’s office nor the district attorney were immediately available for comment Tuesday night.

said Laronda Berry, a resident and friend of Ms. Pouncy in an interview on Friday that she told Ms. Pouncy to break the window and they had only been inside for 20 minutes when they heard a “loud banging” on the door. “The only crime that was committed that day was committed by the police,” she said.

Mr. Crump — who has been a lawyer for more than two decades for the families of black people killed by law enforcement officers — said the episode brought to mind the case Breonna Taylor, a black medical worker who was killed by police officers in Louisville, Ky., in March 2020 during a botched raid on her apartment.

U announcement published on social networks on Monday he said the shooting “never should have happened, and this recently released body camera footage is proof of the unnecessary and excessive force that was used against her.”

The video, he added, proves that the deputies “shot first and asked questions later.”

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