The Latest: Houston officer shot during chaotic crime spree

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on the shooting of a Houston police officer (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

A Houston police officer is hospitalized in stable condition after authorities say he was shot in a struggle with a suspect who along with three others stole two vehicles and attempted to kill a priest in a crime spree that played out as Democratic presidential candidates debated just miles away.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a news conference Friday that the 29-year-old officer was wearing a bulletproof vest but was shot just below the vest in the abdomen.

The four suspects carjacked an SUV at a gas station Thursday evening only to abandon it when it ran out of gas.

Acevedo says the group then encountered a priest in a church parking lot who they beat and robbed. They then carjacked another vehicle but abandoned it as officers pursued them.

The suspect who shot the officer was shot and killed by another policeman.

Two others were taken into custody and police are searching for the fourth man.

Acevedo was attending the Democratic debate at Texas Southern University and rushed to the scene about three miles away.

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1:30 a.m.

Police in Houston say an officer is in surgery after being shot by one of four men who allegedly stole a car at gunpoint and later beat up a priest.

At an emotional news conference, Chief Art Acevedo asked people to pray for the unidentified 29-year-old officer, who he said is in guarded condition.

He said one of the suspects was shot and killed in the exchange of fire, two other men were in custody and police were searching for the fourth.

Acevedo said the chaotic evening of violence began at about 9:56 p.m. Thursday with the carjacking, but the vehicle soon ran out of gas and the suspects fled. Police believe the men then assaulted a priest and stole his cell phone. The firefight took place about 15 minutes later.