METRO officer fatally shoots armed man

May 5, 2009 3:14:57 PM PDT
A METRO police officer shot and killed a suspect and wounded an innocent bystander. It all happened on a jogging trail near Rice University. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

At 10:30am on the Memorial Hermann rail platform, we're told a METRO motorcycle officer was flagged down by a person claiming they had just been assaulted. A suspect was identified nearby.

"At that point the suspect is being non-compliant," explained HPD spokesperson Victor Senties. "He keeps walking away from the officers, got his hands in his pockets, putting them down his waistband."

The METRO officer asked for backup and another officer arrived. According to police, the situation escalated. The suspect had a knife and he was said to be lunging at his pursuers.

Senties said, "The second officer that arrives discharges his Taser. That has no effect on the suspect."

In all, HPD says, the suspect was shocked three times with a Taser without success. On Main Street, in front of pedestrians and medical center workers, the confrontation ended with a series of shots from one officer's gun.

A witness who asked not to be identified said, "We heard a gunshot, and then after the first gunshot, two more gunshots came right behind it. The gentleman was laid down on the ground."

The suspect was killed on the jogging path beside Rice University. In the process of shooting him, though, a woman who was an apparent bystander was wounded. She was struck in the upper arm with a non-life threatening injury.

Another woman with children who was close enough to hear and see much of what went on was questioned as a witness.

"A third party person that's injured, we're also concerned about that," said METRO Police Chief Tom Lambert. "We're concerned for their well-being. We're concerned for their family. We'll be talking to that individual as well."

Identities have not been released for the suspect killed and the woman wounded. The officer who discharged his weapon will be temporarily reassigned to desk duty while the investigation is conducted by the Houston Police Department.

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