HOUSTON – The 51-year-old El Salvadorian national who is suspected of killing a Houston police officer has been charged in federal court with being a felon and an alien unlawfully in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Elmer Rolando Manzano resided in Houston but has no legal status in the United States, according to the charges.
According to the criminal complaint filed today, two law enforcement officers had arrived at a Southwest Houston condominium and met with a woman and her son who wanted to retrieve some belongings from the location. Manzano, the woman’s estranged husband, resided in the apartment but refused to open the door when the officers attempted entry, according to the charges.
The son allegedly had a key which was used to gain entry. Shortly thereafter, Manzano allegedly fired shots from inside the residence. At least one of the officers returned fire, according to the complaint.
One of the officers died at the scene. The other officer and the woman’s son were also injured.
According to the charges, the woman had allegedly called authorities on Oct. 17 and 18, reporting Manzano had been acting aggressively and been verbally abusive towards her. The complaint further alleges she reported Manzano had a weapon, and she was in fear for her life.
According to the charges, authorities conducted a search of the residence and found two firearms – A Ruger P89, 9mm handgun and a Colt .38 caliber revolver
Manzano allegedly has a felony conviction and is, therefore, prohibited by federal law of possessing a firearm or ammunition. As an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States, he is also prohibited of such.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.