HOUSTON (KTRK) --Police say a man was shot several times by two HPD Officers on Alabama near Montrose. He's in critical condition at Ben Taub Hospital after allegedly waving a gun around and not complying with their commands.
The call came in to police from eyewitnesses reporting a man waving a gun in the air near the University of St. Thomas. Neighbor Jermaine Rogers said, "I was out by the pool and I heard five gunshots."
The suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Erick Michael Coonrod, originally from Pennsylvania. According to friends, Coonrod attended culinary school in Houston. Eyewitness News also confirmed he worked at Pappasitos Cantina for two years as well as another restaurant in the City Centre.
Coonrod was convicted of evading police and trespassing in 2015 in Fort Bend County. In May, he wrote this on Facebook:
"In the past year, I went through some pretty low points. All I have to say is I'm past that point now. I'm doing amazing. I've been spending time with my son and working on becoming a sous chef at my job. So don't worry about how difficult life can be. Just keep grinding."
Two Houston Police Officers shot Coonrod on Sunday afternoon. HPD says Coonrod never said anything, staring at police and disregarding commands to show his hands as he reached for a gun in his waistband.
Less than a block away, a clerk at a gas station says he had an encounter with a man who matches the description earlier in the afternoon, when a man left the store without paying for a drink. Jose Abiles said, "I told him you have to pay for that drink. He turned around and pulled his shirt up and pulled a gun out."
Police will determine if the two incidents are connected.
After recovering the weapon, crime scene officers determined the man they shot was carrying a pellet gun on him. HPD spokesperson John Cannon said, "Most of the public will look around and say he got shot over a toy gun. I think after they take a look at it and everyone takes a look at it they'll understand what these officers are up against."
Both officers have been with the department for three years and were wearing body cameras. What they may show will be part of the investigation.
Many nearby were unnerved at the Sunday scene of police cars and crime tape in such a busy part of the city. Jermaine Rogers said, "The climate in the air is hot and people are on edge. It's up to those of us who can do it to keep a rational, keep a level had."
Both officers have been with HPD three years and work patrol out of the Central Patrol Division.