A Houston Police Department officer has been relieved of duty after allegedly shooting his wife in the face with an AR-15, KTRK-TV and other outlets reported.
“Domestic violence is very serious … We stand here at HPD to do everything that we can to prevent that,” Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said in a news briefing.
Galib Waheed Chowdhury, 31, was charged with aggravated assault of a family member with serious bodily injury in the 338th State District Court, authorities said Monday.
Chowdhury claimed in court Wednesday that 30-year-old Sadaf Iqbal, the victim, got in the way when Chowdhury was attempting to shoot someone he said broke into their home, KTRK-TV reported.
Officers found no signs of a break in, KHOU reported. Police say Iqbal received “several angry messages” earlier in the evening. In addition, Iqbal suffered what appear to be defensive wounds from covering her face.
Iqbal was shot in the right eyeball. She had a cheekbone fracture and multiple fractures to her hand and fingers, a magistrate said, reading the details of the alleged crime.
The victim’s family told KHOU that Iqbal initially described the disturbing incident as an accident because she was afraid. The family now is calling it an execution attempt, and they want the charges upgraded to attempted murder.
Family members told the outlet Chowdhury got belligerent after coming home from drinking at a birthday celebration earlier in the evening. They also say Chowdhury opened fire on Iqbal while she was lying on the floor, that he apologized after the shooting, and that he told her he was going to call the police and claim there was a robbery.
Finner said the department received a call for service at 10333 Clay Road shortly after midnight Monday. When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Iqbal, who had sustained a gunshot would to the face. Paramedics from the Houston Fire Department transported her to the hospital where underwent emergency surgery.
Officers arrested 31-year-old Chowdhury Monday. He was off-duty from his job as an officer with the HPD’s Northwest Patrol Division when the incident occurred. He was sworn in as an officer in March 2021, according to an HPD press release.
Chowdhury made bail Tuesday and is to be monitored by GPS as part of the judge’s bond conditions, according to KHOU. A protective order is in place prohibiting Chowdhury from contacting his wife or being within 200 feet of her, according to KTRK.
Chowdhury’s next court appearance is August 22.
The incident is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit, Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Watch coverage from KHOU below of Houston Police Department officer Galib Chowdhury who is accused of shooting his wife in the face.
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