Houston deputy constable and father of five Alden Clopton was ambushed and shot in the back four times by an unknown attacker on Wednesday night. He is now in critical care but is expected to recover.
Clopton was speaking to a deputy trainee through the window of their cop car at 11:20 p.m. when an unknown figure approached Clopton from behind and fired their gun six times. One shot hit the ground, another hit the car and the remaining four shots hit Clopton, who was quickly rushed to the hospital.
The 11-year veteran of the force sustained injuries that required several hours of surgery, including a bullet that was lodged close to his heart. May Walker, Harris County Precinct Constable, said of Clopton, "He's in critical care, but he's doing well." Adding, "It's going to be a long recovery, but we think he's going to be OK." It is believed that Clopton's protective vest played a huge role in saving his life.
As for the attacker, it is not known whether he or she was hit when the trainee returned fire. Someone fitting the gunman's description was seen at a local fire department, but he did not show signs of injury. "He was not injured, but as to why he showed up at the station, homicide [investigators have] to question him to find out," police spokesman Kese Smith told CNN. The man in question has yet to be arrested.
When Smith was asked if officials believe the gunman was purposefully attacking cops, she replied, "I can't see how someone can mistake them for someone other than law enforcement."
Clopton is the second Harris County officer to be shot from behind in an unprovoked attack. In August, a 30-year-old man was charged with capital murder when he killed sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth in what officials called a "senseless and cowardly act."
Walker said that she has been "very emotional" about Clopton's shooting, as he and his brothers, who are also officers, were all trained in her precinct. "They grew up in my house," she said. "I've known them — some of them — since they were born." Luckily, Clopton is expected to recover from his injuries in time.
(Photo: Harris County Sheriff's Office via AP)