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Officer, bystander die during traffic stop

HOUSTON — A traffic stop turned into a fatal shooting on Christmas Eve when a gunman killed a police officer and bystander in the parking lot of a body shop, police said.

The confrontation followed a chase that began shortly before 9 a.m. when the suspect sped off in his car rather than pull over as an officer had requested, Houston police spokesman John Cannon said.

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The suspect eventually pulled into a nearby Maaco body shop, where Bellaire Police Department Corporal Jimmie Norman approached the vehicle. Cannon said an argument apparently erupted, and the suspect shot Norman with a .38 caliber handgun.

“The officer . . . didn’t have the opportunity to pull his weapon and defend himself,’’ Cannon said.

A man then walked out of the body shop, and the suspect shot him, Cannon said.

Other officers arrived at the scene, where they found Norman lying on the ground and the suspect next to him.

‘‘They are immediately fired upon, and those two officers then returned fire,’’ Cannon said.

The suspect was shot but fled on foot, Cannon said. Officers followed a trail of blood and arrested him.

Norman, 53, worked for the Bellaire Police Department for 23 years. The suspect and other victim were not identified.

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