Houston Police are investigating the fatal Saturday morning crash of one of the department’s helicopters as a homicide. The 2008 MD Helicopters model 530E went down shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday while responding to reports of bodies in the water near the Biscayne at Cityview apartment complex.
Video of the crash shows the helicopter hovering and then spinning before impact. Post-crash photos show the helicopter had clipped part of the apartment complex’s clubhouse before coming to rest on its side.
The crash killed Houston police officer Jason Knox, 35, who served as the technical flight officer (TFO). The pilot, officer Chase Comier, 35, survived with serious injuries, including a broken back. Both men were cut from the wreckage by first responders and airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Houston Police chief Art Acevedo stressed that the department did not have any indication that the crash was, in fact, a homicide, but said his department was investigating it as such to enable it to be approached with a “wide net.” While the flight crew was being extracted, the department made multiple arrests nearby related to gunfire. The accident helicopter, N8375F, had previously been extensively damaged from gunfire in 2016. The department has temporarily stood down its fleet of 10 helicopters in the wake of Saturday's crash.