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'Too many funerals for police officers' | President Biden mourns loss of Pct. 4 deputy shot, killed

Deputy constable Kareem Atkins was shot and killed while working an extra security job in north Houston. Two other deputies were also shot.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The Houston area is again mourning the loss of law enforcement officers who took an oath to protect and serve and died in the line of duty.

This month, it's Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Kareem Atkins. He was shot and killed early Saturday morning while working an extra job security job in north Houston, according to police. Two other deputies were also shot at this scene, Deputy Darryl Garrett, 28, and Deputy Juqaim Barthen, 26.

RELATED: Precinct 4 deputy killed in shooting had recently returned from paternity leave; all three deputy constables identified

Credit: Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office

President Biden addressed Saturday morning's shooting while speaking at the 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

“As I was preparing these remarks earlier this morning, in Houston, one deputy killed and two wounded,” Biden said. "I've spoken too many times. Too many funerals for police officers. Too many funerals for brave servants who kept us safe."

Biden then addressed Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, who was present at the memorial service, and spoke on the number of Houston police who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

"Seven Houston police officers in his department were killed in the line of duty since 2019," Biden told the crowd. "Chief, I'm here for you, pal."

Last month, the Houston Police Department buried one of their own after Senior Police Officer William "Bill" Jeffrey was shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant. HPD Sgt. Michael Vance was also shot at this scene.

Community mourns Pct. 4 deputy constables shot

Just hours after news broke that three Pct. 4 deputy constables were shot, one of them killed, several law enforcement agencies extended their condolences to the department and deputies' families.

"Our hearts are heavy as we extend our condolences to @Pct4Constable. They tragically lost one deputy & two more are injured after being shot early this morning," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.

KHOU 11 Reporter Anayeli Ruiz will have more on the community's reaction to this deadly shooting on KHOU 11 News at 10 p.m.

The Waller County Sheriff Office also extended its condolences as well as Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena. 

"Another tragic day in our city," Pena wrote on Twitter.

Heavy Hearts Constable Ted Heap and his deputies extend our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters in blue...

Posted by Ted Heap, Harris County Constable Precinct 5 on Saturday, October 16, 2021

We mourn the loss of our Harris County Pct. 4 brother and pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded deputies at the hands of a coward. Nemo me impune lacessit.

Posted by Magnolia Police Department on Saturday, October 16, 2021

According to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's Office, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Deputy Atkins. 

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