Police standoff ends in shooting

March 23, 2009 4:49:45 PM PDT
Police opened fire on a man overnight after they thought he was pointing a gun at them, but it turned out to be a flashlight. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It happened late last night in the parking lot of the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, where investigators searched for clues throughout the morning.

Eyewitness Remington Dayn-Ryan had his car's back window shattered by gunfire.

"We heard about 6, 7, 10 shots...just pop, pop, pop," he said.

Police say at about 11pm, Steven Moran, who had been injured in several car wrecks in Houston showed up after allegedly fleeing from those scenes. Eyewitnesses saw Moran lying on the ground in the parking lot, while his father ran inside for help.

"He threatened to shoot us so we all ran back inside for our lives," said eyewitness Ashley Carmouche.

When doctors came outside, police say Moran became belligerent.

"He pointed something at them, which they assumed was a gun and threatened to kill them in language that I can't use here," said Chief Ray Smiley with the Webster Police Department.

For more than an hour, police negotiated Moran, believing he was armed. At some point, officers moved in. Investigators say the man, still lying between cars, appeared to point something at them, so they opened fire. What they thought to be a weapon was later was recovered.

"Iit was a flashlight, a small flashlight," said Chief Smiley.

Moran was wounded an unknown number of times by police gunfire here. He was treated first at Clear Lake Regional and then transported to Ben Taub Hospital for further treatment. Moran is listed in poor condition.

Police tells Eyewitness News that Moran suffers from some kind of mental condition, although they couldn't elaborate on it. They couldn't say if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and his identity hasn't been released.

The Harris County DA's office is now working this shooting to help determine if it was justified. Investigators won't say how many officers opened fire or how many times, only that whoever did, as a matter of policy, will be on temporary desk duty.

It's unclear if he will be arrested or accused of any crime. Authorities are still conducting that part of the investigation.

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