Houston deputy constable shot six times in 'ambush' attack
Gun and blood at crime scene (Shutterstock.com)

A Houston deputy constable was shot six times early on Thursday in an ambush attack as he stood outside his patrol car in a convenience store parking lot, a law enforcement official said.

The officer, who was struck in the back and side, was expected to survive, said Pamela Greenwood, a spokeswoman for the Harris County precinct seven constable's office.

He was likely wearing a bulletproof vest, a requirement for on-duty deputies, she said.

Constable's office officials and Houston police were searching for the gunman, Greenwood added. Texas constables are law enforcement officers separate from the police.

The officer had just completed a traffic stop and had pulled his patrol car into a convenience store parking lot in Houston's Midtown area when the attack occurred, she said.

He was leaning into the patrol car speaking with a trainee when he was shot, she said. The motive for the shooting was not yet clear.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in New York; Editing by Tom Heneghan)