Just Hours After Sergeants Murder, it is revealed that DA’s office released suspect day before, returned gun
As the City of Houston and its Police family mourn the loss of 41 year veteran Sergeant Harold Preston after his murder this morning at the hands of a convicted felon, it has emerged through several sources that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office released the suspect Elmer Manzano had been released from custody just yesterday when the DA’s office declined to file charges stemming from another domestic call on Monday, October 19th, 2020 where it is alleged that Manzano was waving a firearm and threatening his former partner and their children.
Manzano was initially taken into custody, but ordered released as the DA’s office would not file charges on the suspect. It is unknown at the time if the decision to release Manzano was made directly by the Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, or one of her deputy District Attorneys at the time the case was refused for prosecution on the 18th. The firearm and six bullets initially taken as evidence by police were then returned to him. Although it is unknown if the firearm was the same one used in today’s incident, less than 24 hours later, instead of being in custody for the earlier arrest, Manzano took the life of Sergeant Preston, injured another officer, and shot his own son (both of which will survive their injuries.)
Public outrage at the District Attorney’s office was swift, with dozens of heated comments posted on the Harris County DA’s public Facebook post that mentions domestic violence as a cause of murders of officers and families, expressing condolences to the family of Sergeant Preston.
Anger was also expressed by Ogg’s political adversary, Mary Nan Huffman, stating that Sergeant Preston’s death and his partner’s shooting was “100% preventable” in a scathing press release earlier today, calling the actions of Ogg’s DA’s office “inexcusable” after the death of Sergeant Preston.