On Tuesday at around 1pm, an officer shot and killed the man who was threatening his ex-wife. It happened at the Terminix office on the Beltway at West Bellfort.
"I'm glad they stopped it before anybody else got hurt," said Paulette Wilridge, who works near the shooting scene. "Violence now in America has gone too far in the workplace."
Employees who work nearby saw the aftermath of the scene after police say a 9-1-1 call came from a woman working at the Terminix office who said her life was being threatened by her former husband, Monta Fizer.
A police officer arrived to find Fizer near a taxi cab. Investigators say he didn't comply with repeated orders by police and at one point rummaged around in the cab looking for something. Fizer then headed for the front door of the business with one hand behind his back.
That's when the officer shot and killed him.
"Actually we're pretty lucky this didn't turn out to be something more tragic. Our officer got here just in time," HPD spokesman Victor Senties said. "The suspect clearly came here with the intent to shoot and kill his ex-wife and possibly at 15 other people who were working inside the office."
Investigators say the woman had an active restraining order against her 33-year-old ex-husband.
"When he is intent on hurting her, he thinks nothing can stop him," Leticia Manzano said.
Manzano is manager of counseling and advocacy at the Houston Area Women's Center, where they talk to clients about their right to request a protective order. She says not only can it protect from further harm but threats, harassment, and third party harassment.
"No safety plan is ever 100-percent fool proof. The only person who can prevent further violence from happening is the perpetrator himself. But it is better than nothing, because at least she knows that she's not alone," Manzano said.
And in this case investigators believe the intended victim's life was saved, and perhaps, many more.
"It was kind of shocking, especially when our job is right there and I'm glad everybody is ok from our side," Mendoza said.
Police say they recovered a pistol belonging to Fizer from the scene.
The officer, identified J. McPhail, has been with HPD since 1984.
Anyone seeking help can call the toll free Domestic Violence hotline at 800-256-0551.