Houston officer who tackled suspect, thwarted possible mall shooting speaks out

"I had in my mind [that] I was going to get shot. I just had to bear the pain,” Sgt. Kendrick Simpo recalled

By Anne Berleant 

HOUSTON — Fast thinking on the part of Houston Sgt. Kendrick Simpo was made public, months after he took down a man with a rifle in a mall where hundreds were gathered for a dance competition, Fox News reported. The suspect was also carrying 120 live ammunition rounds.  

Simpo was working a second job at The Galleria mall on Feb. 5 when he spotted a man with a rifle and quickly tackled him. 

“My first reaction was to make sure that I get a hold of the rifle. No matter what I grabbed, make sure I grabbed that rifle," Simpo said. "I had in my mind [(that]) I was going to get shot. I just had to bear the pain. I knew it was going to hurt, and I was like, 'Whatever I do, I cannot let go of this rifle.'" 

Simpo said he took special measures not to startle the crowd of children and adults near the ballroom for the dance competition. 

“I didn't pull my weapon out because I didn't want to be past the ballroom area, with the gun out and startle anyone," Simpo explained. 

Simpo was able to point the suspect's gun toward the ceiling while trying to subdue him until backup arrived, according to ABC 13. The suspect was arrested without a single shot being fired.  

"I knew if a person did have a rifle, and they were inside the mall, I was pretty much outnumbered because all I had was a handgun at the time,” Simpo noted. “My handgun and his rifle, I was already at a disadvantage."  

Simpo received an award from the Houston Police Department for his heroism earlier this year.


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