The Mesquite Police Department has identified the fallen officer who died after being shot Friday.
According to the department, Officer Richard Houston was fatally wounded in the line of duty while responding to a disturbance in the 1500 block of South Belt Line Road in Mesquite. During the course of the investigation, Houston was shot multiple times. He was transported to Baylor Hospital in Dallas and later died at 2:11 p.m.
Houston was a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department and was married with three children. A donation webpage has been established to assist the Houston family at charities.thempa.org/donate/.
“This was a senseless act of violence,” Mesquite Police Chief David Gill said in a press release. “Richard was a great officer, friend, father and husband. Please keep his family and our family in your prayers."
Houston was hired as a police officer on Jan. 8, 2001. He graduated from Session 153 of the Basic Course in Applied Police Science and was named valedictorian of his class. His assignments included serving in the operations bureau as a patrol officer, on the SWAT Team for over 10 years and in criminal investigations handling burglary and theft, homeland security and juvenile/gang cases. Houston earned a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Master Peace Officer License and Instructor Proficiency Certificate.
This story has been updated as more information was made available.
In April 2021 a Certificate of Merit was presented to Houston for his heroic actions assisting the Garland Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety with the arrest of three suspects of a stolen car used in various crimes, and he prevented a suicide attempt by one of the suspects during the apprehension efforts.
His recognitions during his Mesquite Police Department career include 48 letters of commendation, two life-saving awards, one Police Commendation Bar and the Citizens Police Academy Officer of the Month Award in August 2018.
A prayer vigil will be held 8 p.m. Sunday in front of the Mesquite Police Department, 777 N. Galloway Ave. There will be remarks by Mayor Daniel Alemán and local pastors, candle lighting and opportunities to donate to assist the Houston family.