HARRIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – An arson investigator with the Houston Fire Department was shot and killed Friday morning while conducting surveillance into a number of arson fires set in the city.

Lemuel Bruce (Credit: Houston Fire Department)

HFD confirmed that arson investigator Lemuel Bruce, a 17 year veteran of the department, died just before 5 a.m.

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Bruce was looking into a string of recent arsons when he had some kind of confrontation with a person and the two got into a shootout. The person who shot Bruce was also shot and died at the scene. His name has not been released.

Bruce and other investigators had been conducting surveillance as part of an arson investigation into a string of car fires in the northwest part of the city.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said detectives are conducting an investigation into the shooting as they would any other officer-involved shooting since arson investigators are sworn, classified peace officers.

Houston Fire said this is the first time a fire investigator has been shot in the line of duty.

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