CONROE, TX (KTRK) --Conroe police say an officer shot a shoplifting suspect out of fear that he might fire what the officer thought was a real gun.
That gun turned out to shoot only BBs, or airsoft pellets, according to a police spokesperson. Sgt. Dorcy McGinnis says the officer "in fear of the life" of employees and customers shot the suspect.
Police have now identified him as Christopher Fillmore, 36. He was shot in the shoulder, according to investigators, and will survive.
Jenetta Welch's car was hit by errant police gunfire. She was inside the store at the time, working. "Just wrong place, wrong time. It's pretty big. It's Montgomery. It's pretty crazy," she said.
This all started at about 11:30am Monday inside the Walmart off Highway 105 near Walden Road in Conroe. A loss prevention officer saw someone apparently trying to steal merchandise. Employees called police before that person ever got outside. When the loss prevention officer approached, the person pulled what police say their officer perceived as a real weapon. The officer was just arriving and saw it. Conroe police say that officer feared for the life of the loss prevention officer and others here, and opened fire.
"It's scary when it happens anywhere. Everybody inside is on edge," said customer Kristan Leming.
Customers and employees, though shaken some, seem thankful for the quick response by police. It's not clear yet if surveillance cameras outside the story will show the violent confrontation.
Fillmore has now been charged with aggravated robbery. He was treated and released from the hospital and is now in police custody.