Texas man accused of shooting tow truck driver, ramming police vehicle

Zachary M. Smith, 31, faces 2 new charges in shooting

Zachary M. Smith, 31, is charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and unlawful carrying of a weapon. (Twitter @HoustonPolice) (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

A Texas man shot a tow truck driver before a pursuit that involved him ramming a police car, according to Houston officers.

Zachary M. Smith, 31, received two new charges this week for his role in the Feb. 7 incident, Houston police announced.

Police said on that night, a tow truck carrying two men stopped at a car wash in East Houston. A 44-year-old man stepped out of the truck and saw another vehicle pull up.

Smith, who was masked and armed, confronted the 44-year-old from the tow truck and told him not to move, police said. When the man reached for his own gun, Smith opened fire, striking the man in the abdomen.

The 44-year-old returned fire at Smith but missed. The 44-year-old was taken to the hospital and released.

Police said as Smith fled in a getaway car, the other man in the tow truck chased them until they came to a stop. The man then shot at the getaway car, but bullets didn’t hit the suspect.

The man then called the police and gave officers information about the suspect vehicle.

The suspect vehicle, which had bullet holes in it, was located in the area by officers. Officers tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the vehicle evaded police and rammed an HPD officer’s car, police said.

After a brief vehicle and foot chase, Smith was taken into custody. He was initially charged with felony evading and aggravated assault of a public servant for ramming an HPD officer’s car.

“As the investigation into the shooting incident was continuing with Smith being the possible suspect, he was subsequently released on bond,” police said.

He was arrested again on Feb. 22 for unrelated felony charges, and after further investigation, he received two more charges in the Feb. 7 shooting on Sunday.

Those additional charges are aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston, reported that the identity of the getaway driver has not been released.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.