UPDATE: Accused cop shooter arrested without incident - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Accused cop shooter arrested without incident

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga police have the suspect in custody who shot a police officer Tuesday on Fourth Avenue.

Police had part of the Brainerd area blocked off Wednesday morning where the suspect was located.

Eric Gilbert knew authorities were looking for a man accused of shooting a Chattanooga Police Officer. He never dreamed he'd be found a few doors down.

"I heard the police on the intercom telling somebody to come out of that house up there," pointed Gilbert, "and they weren't going to hurt him."

A SWAT team swarmed a home on Booth Road just after 8:30 Wednesday morning.

Celvin Montez Houston, age 39, was inside with friends and family.

"He came out and that was it," said Gilbert, who watched from his front porch.

"He did come out of the home unarmed," Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd confirmed in a press conference.

The surrender came 14 hours after police say Houston shot 6-year department veteran Officer William McMillan.

McMillan was responding to a theft call at East Lake courts Tuesday, when he came across an altercation involving Houston.

Chief Dodd's says his first call after locating Houston was to McMillan, who is recovering at Erlanger.

McMillan was shot twice. His belt deflected one bullet. The other hit his leg.

"I let him know early this morning we had the suspect located and we had a perimeter set up and were going to begin negotiating," said Dodd, reflecting on his conversation with the officer.

Negotiations didn't last long.

Houston surrendered peacefully.

Dodd credits his officers who worked overnight and a trio of East Chattanooga pastors who contacted Houston's friends hoping he'd turn himself in.

"Pastors have a lot of contact in the neighborhood, possibly have contact with family members or friends that know the suspect," said Dodd, who pointed out pastors have helped solve other cases. "They can reach out in a lot of ways that we can't."

Dodd says it's a relief to have Houston behind bars. 

While he says all shootings are investigated the same, this one hit close to home.

"Personally, I've been in this business 26 years and know a lot of the officers," said Dodd. "Any time one of them is hurt it's like a family member."

Suspect's criminal history

Channel 3 has learned this is not the first time Celvin Houston has been accused of harming an officer.

"He actually had warrants on him when officer McMillan encountered him yesterday," Dodd told Channel 3.

According to Hamilton County Court documents, Houston was wanted on aggravated robbery and attempted murder charges in connection to a robbery.

He's faced three dozen charges since 1994, including a 2006 charge for aggravated assault of a police officer.

Now Houston faces a slew of new charges.

"Attempted first degree murder charges, aggravated assault charges, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon," Dodd listed.

They are charges that make Eric Gilbert glad Houston was taken peacefully.

"Yeah, it's the truth man with everything happening these days," said Gilbert.

Houston will answer to the charges against him next week in court. He's being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $1.25 million bond.

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