UPDATE: JP Gillam recovering from shooting
Jefferson County Precinct 8 Justice of the Peace Tom Gillam III is in stable condition after being injured from a shooting while in Houston Tuesday night.
Houston Police Department spokesman Kese Smith said police received a call of a shooting around 10:40 p.m. in the 7000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The caller said they heard multiple gunshots and saw a black man running away from Gillam’s vehicle.
The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old, 5-foot 7-inches and weighing about 160 pounds.
“Mr. Gillam was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in stable condition,” Smith said. “He had suffered a wound to his face caused by either a bullet fragment or debris.”
According to Smith, Gillam, 62, told responding officers he was driving on MLK and got a phone call so he pulled over into a business parking lot to take the call. When he was there, he was approached by a woman who asked for money; he refused to give her any money. The woman came by at least two more times repeating the request and he declined again.
As he was leaving, he saw the male suspect in his rear view mirror walking quickly toward his vehicle and reaching under a hooded coat he was wearing to produce a pistol from his waistband, Smith said.
Gillam told police he grabbed his own gun, which was on the front passenger side of the vehicle so he could defend himself but as he did, the suspect began shooting.
“Mr. Gillam said he returned fire and doesn’t know if the suspect was struck. He then said he felt like he was losing consciousness and waited at the location for any assistance a passerby might render,” he said.
Officers found two bullet holes in Gillam’s 2006 blue Mercedes
Gillam has spent more than 30 years serving the public in various capacities including: long time labor leader, volunteer at Texas Youth Commission at the Al Price Youth Facility working with troubled kids, past Democratic Party precinct chair, served on the Citizen Ad Hoc Fire Committee, past president of Port Arthur Housing Authority Finance Committee, Port Arthur City Council member for nine years and served a mayor pro-tem, helped formulate low to moderate income home purchase for the city of Port Arthur, pastor of the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ for a number of years. He currently serves as Jefferson County Precinct 8 Justice of the Peace where he initiated numerous programs to work with troubled youth.
The case remains under investigation by HPD’s major assault unit.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
David Ball contributed to this story
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