Texas police officer killed by man fleeing traffic stop

Authorities in the Houston area are searching for a 21-year-old man who they say struck and killed a police officer while fleeing a traffic stop

NASSAU BAY, Texas -- A Houston-area police sergeant was killed when a man wanted on a domestic violence warrant broke free from police while being handcuffed, fled from a traffic stop and struck her with his vehicle, police said.

The search continued Wednesday for 21-year-old Tavores Henderson, who police said likely still has one handcuff attached to his wrist. Harris County Sgt. Dennis Wolfford said a warrant for felony murder had been issued for Henderson.

Nassau Bay police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan was assisting in a traffic stop Tuesday night at an apartment complex when police discovered the driver, later identified as Henderson, had an outstanding warrant for assault on a family member, Nassau Bay Police Chief Tim Cromie said.

Police were in the process of handcuffing and arresting Henderson when he escaped the officers and got into his vehicle, Cromie said.

Henderson then drove off, striking Sullivan, who later died at a hospital, Cromie said. The vehicle was discovered abandoned and police believe he ran away. Later Wednesday morning, police and SWAT officers searched a home where Henderson's mother lived, but Henderson was not there, Wolfford said.

Sullivan, 43, was approaching her 16-year anniversary with the Nassau Bay Police Department and had worked on the night shift, Cromie said, calling her “a consummate professional in police work.”

“She was a police officer at heart. She came to work every day, she enjoyed the job,” he said. "Her blood ran blue. She was a police officer's police officer."

The Harris County Sheriff's Office was leading the search for Henderson. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sullivan's death was “another grim reminder" of how dangerous police work can be, noting that the community is still mourning the Saturday death of a Houston police officer and the September shooting death of a Harris County deputy.