March 16, 2014
Agencies: Houston Police Department Texas
Cause of death: Not Yet Known
Last updated: over 3 years ago
Houston Police Department patrol Officers S. C. Foster and C. K. Overstreet, riding two-man unit 6B35N were dispatched to a Shooting/In-progress call at 1415 West Gulf Bank, the Coppertree Village Apartments, at approximately 2:07 a.m. While in route to the scene, updates from Dispatch where being broadcast that multiple emergency calls where being received from the same address, but different apartment numbers, in regards to a person or persons shooting guns multiple times in the air and at each other. The officers arrived and while searching the area for someone shooting, they heard screaming coming from near apartment building #1. Officers approached building #1 and observed a male running around outside apartment #143 and a female who was screaming to officers that her grandmother, Veronica Leath, was inside apartment #143 and "going crazy". Officers Overstreet and Foster approached apartment #143 and observed the front apartment door to be wide open. Officer Overstreet took cover and concealment behind a brick wall to the right of the door and Officer Foster took cover and concealment behind a brick wall to the left of the door. After taking cover and concealment in the doorway of apartment #143, Officers Overstreet and Foster observed a female sitting on the couch in the living room holding a pistol in her right hand and pointing the gun to her chest. Officers Overstreet and Foster made contact with Veronica inside the apartment announcing their presence and giving verbal commands for her to put the weapon down and to talk to them. Veronica appeared to officers to be very angry and agitated, and appeared to be under the influence of some kind of substance. Veronica started making statements to the officers such as "I want to die!" and "just shoot me". Veronica was also making strange and incoherent statements, whispering and shouting to herself as she sat on the couch. Veronica stated to officers that she did not trust white people and that she had been smoking crack cocaine all day. Officer Overstreet stated Veronica also made mention of a baby who recently died in the family. Sergeant Farquhar, riding unit 3B06N, arrived on the scene while Officers Overstreet and Foster were attempting to get Veronica to drop her gun. Sergeant Farquhar, while taking cover and concealment in the doorway, also gave verbal commands to her at which she disregarded any commands and replied, "Fuck off!". Sergeant Farquhar stepped back from the doorway to contact the Command Center and HPD S.W.A.T./H.N.T. regarding a possible barricaded suspect. Officers Overstreet and Foster continued to talk to Veronica in an attempt to get her to drop her gun she was holding in her right hand. Officers observed the hammer to be pulled back on the gun during this time. While Officers Overstreet and Foster were still taking their positions in the doorway and pleading with Veronica to put the gun down and not to hurt herself, she pulled the hoodie to her sweater over her head then pointed the gun to her chest over her left breast and pulled the trigger once. The gun then fell to her right side on the couch. Sergeant Farquhar heard one gunshot while awaiting a call back from the Tactical Operations Command. Sergeant Farquhar then approached the apartment doorway and gave commands to Officers Overstreet and Foster not to make entry into the apartment as he entered the scene to check Veronica. Sergeant Farquhar found the firearm near Veronica on the couch and removed it from her reach. Officers then entered the apartment to clear the apartment for safety. Sergeant Farquhar took custody of the gun and secured it in his patrol vehicle until CSU could arrive and take custody of the weapon. Officers Overstreet and Foster called for an ambulance to check the welfare of the female. Houston Fire Department Station #67 arrived and the female was pronounced dead at approximately 2:37 a.m. Veronica Hobley Leath has a criminal history that includes arrests for aggravated robbery, criminal trespass, arson, assault/family violence, forgery, retaliation, public intoxication, criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance, theft, failure to stop and give information, terroristic threat and multiple court convictions and has atleast one documented call regarding mental health/cit from 2005. This case is under investigation by the Homicide Division, Internal Affairs Division, and the Harris County District Attorneys Office Police Integrity Division.