HPOU honored Northeast Patrol Officer Ana Espinal as its February Patrol Officer of the Month for loading two wounded officers twice her size into her patrol car and rushed them to the Memorial Hermann emergency room.
Commander James B. Dale said, “There is never a rule book to follow when officers are either hurt or killed. Officer Espinal is a leader who demonstrated exceptional fortitude and initiative in saving these officers’ lives.
“Instead of waiting for the ambulance, she expeditiously drove these officers to the emergency room of Memorial Herrmann Hospital.”
The Jan. 27 scene was the home of a suspect whom officers chased after he fled from a disturbance call. He crashed his car, hijacked another and wound up at his home in Midtown. After the crash he “immediately started shooting at the officers with a Glock that had been modified with a switch to change it to an automatic weapon.”
He barricaded himself inside his house.
“The shooting scene, as they usually are, was very chaotic with numerous agencies and units involved,” Commander Dale explained. “The call for an ambulance to come to the scene had been placed.”
Dale said Espinal “is half the size of the officers who had been shot.” She saw that one of them appeared pale and was losing consciousness. That’s when she acted.
Commander Dale said he nominated Espinal for HPOU’s monthly honor “due to her valiant efforts to save these officers’ lives.” He described her as one of the “numerous heroes” at the dramatic shooting scene. She took the initiative and established herself as a leader.
The standoff lasted for hours and resulted in the suspect surrendering. None of the three officers suffered life-threatening wounds.