Rice University Police Chief William Taylor and Major Dianna Marshall have turned in their resignations from the department.
The announcement of their resignations comes nearly two months after firing a police officer for assisting two Houston Police Department officers during a deadly shootout that left two officers wounded and the suspect dead.
Officer David Sedmak was terminated in May for what university officials called “dereliction of duty” after the Rice University officer responded to the Greyhound bus station to assist Houston Police during the armed standoff.
“Sedmak left his post when only two other officers were on duty,” Rice University officials said in a statement explaining the firing.
They went on to say Sedmak was away from the campus for more than an hour without his supervisor’s knowledge, and that his absence could have “endangered the safety of our students and campus.”
The scene of the shooting incident was roughly 2 ½ miles from the Rice campus.
The incident began when 20-year-old Jesse Brown was spotted armed with a pistol as he attempted to purchase a ticket at the bus station. When Houston Police Officer Fernando Meza, working an off-duty job at the bus station, confronted Brown about the gun, Brown began shooting.
Meza was wounded in the hand, but managed to return fire. Brown then fled with other Houston police officers in pursuit. At a nearby fast food restaurant, Brown again exchanged gunfire with officers, this time wounding Officer Timothy Moore in the leg.
Eventually, Brown fled to a parking garage where he was surrounded by police. He then took his own life, according to police reports.
Both wounded officers were treated and released at an area hospital.
The Houston Police Union criticized Taylor and Marshall for their decision to fire Sedmak.
HPOU members and representatives from the Texas Municipal Police Association, along with other area law enforcement agencies, called Sedmak’s termination “outrageous.”
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