The man a La Marque police officer shot and killed Sunday, who police said had threatened a resident and the officer with a sword, died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to a preliminary autopsy conducted by the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The medical examiner’s office pronounced Gregory Ray Ham, 62, dead at the scene after an exchange with officer Jose Santos, 29.

Santos was on paid administrative leave Monday pending the results of several investigations, police Chief Kirk Jackson said.

Police responded to reports of a burglary in the 800 block of Retama, during which a resident was threatened with the sword, Jackson said.

A 55-year-old woman told police Ham pushed a sword in her face after forcing his way into her house and barricading her in a room using furniture, Jackson said.

Police freed the woman and later, during a standoff with Ham in a neighboring structure, sent in a police dog and its handler to retrieve Ham, police said.

Ham is accused of attacking Santos and the police dog when they entered the structure, Jackson said.

Ham was struck in the head by a single bullet, said John “D.J.” Florence of the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday.

It was unclear Wednesday how many shots had been fired.

Both Santos and the dog were injured in the incident and were treated and released from medical care, Jackson said.

La Marque police had received several calls about incidents on Retama in the week before the shooting, ranging in seriousness from criminal mischief to burglary, Jackson said.

The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office are conducting investigations into the shooting, along with a third internal investigation by the La Marque Police Department, Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


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