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Veteran HPD officer killed, another injured by career criminal who had skipped bond

Senior Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey and Sgt. Michael Vance were trying to arrest 30-year-old Deon Ledet.

HOUSTON — The career criminal who shot and killed one Houston police officer and critically wounded another Monday had a rap sheet that included 18 arrests starting when he was 18.

Senior Police Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey and Sgt. Michael Vance were trying to arrest 30-year-old Deon Ledet at his northeast Houston apartment when Ledet opened fire, according to Police Chief Troy Finner.

KHOU 11’s Jeremy Rogalski learned Ledet, who died at the scene, was wanted for skipping bond on two felony drug charges from November 2020. He was supposed to get an ankle monitor but allegedly never did.

RELATED: Suspect in shooting of two HPD officers had criminal history

The officers

Officer Jeffrey, 54, died of multiple gunshot wounds after being rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital by ambulance. The 30-year veteran and his wife Suzanne, an HPD officer who retired last year, were building their dream home, Police Chief Troy Finner said.

Monday afternoon, the couple's daughter Lacie said she's heartbroken that her little girl won't grow up knowing "Grandpa Bill."

"My dad always thought he was superman," Lacie told KHOU 11's Anayeli Ruiz. "He wanted nothing more than to keep this city safe and that was his number one goal and today he died doing what he loved doing the most."

Vance, 53, was reportedly in critical condition when taken to Memorial Hermann by Life Flight. After undergoing surgery, Finner said the undercover officer, who has a wife and two children, is stable and expected to survive. 

He's been with HPD since 1997.

The shootout

According to HPD, Ledet died of a gunshot wound at the scene after officers returned fire. 

It all happened just before 7:30 a.m. in the gated Timber Ridge community in the 5300 block of Aeropark, not far from Beltway 8 and the Eastex Freeway.

Finner said the officers went to the apartment complex with the Major Offenders fugitive warrant team. When they knocked on the door, Ledet's girlfriend answered and Ledet started shooting.

Jeffrey, Vance and other members of the Major Offenders Unit are highly skilled, seasoned officers from several law enforcement agencies, authorities said. They deal with some of the most dangerous suspects in the city of Houston.

'The very best'

Before Jeffrey's death was announced at a news conference, several law enforcement officers joined his family in prayer inside the hospital.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he spoke to Jeffrey's wife at the hospital and she told him, "Mayor, the City of Houston lost the very best. The very best."

WATCH: Police officers pray at Houston hospital after 2 officers were shot

Finner agreed, saying he’d known Jeffrey his entire career.

"He's a great man, a great family man," Finner said. "Every police officer is special. Every first responder is special. But, like his wife said, he is one of the best."

A procession escorted Jeffrey's body to the medical examiner's office where offices lined up to salute as his flag-draped casket was carried into the building.

Both Finner and Turner asked the city to pray for the officers’ families and for HPD.

WATCH: Life Flight lands at hospital after officers are shot in northeast Houston

WATCH: Fellow officers salute fallen officer's body at medical examiner's office

WATCH: Big police escort for officer taken to the hospital by ambulance