Suspect shot by business owner in NW Houston

March 8, 2011 5:08:53 PM PST
It was a chaotic scene inside an office building in northwest Houston where a suspect was shot after being accused of searching the place for something to steal. When workers confronted the suspect, a struggle followed and that's when the shot was fired. It all happened inside an office building on Mangum and the Northwest Freeway, where a suspected burglar got far more than he bargained for.

While most office employees were at lunch on Tuesday, police say there was an uninvited guest, trying one door after another to see if he could get access. A few people eating in saw him.

Building tenant Brad Brawner said, "He was well groomed. It wasn't like his hair was all over the place, and down the hall there are some employment agencies."

The man walked into an insurance claims office around noon, was surprised by the office manager and there was said to be a loud, physical confrontation. People heard it from neighboring offices.

Business neighbor Terry New said, "I heard a noise. I didn't really know what it was and immediately after we heard a lady hollering for help, screaming for help."

That was the office manager who called her husband, the business owner, who was in another room. He responded, brought along his concealed weapon permit and his 9 millimeter pistol.

Ken Nealey with the HPD Robbery Division explained, "Fired once, striking the suspect in his abdomen. He was transported to a local hospital for non life-threatening injuries."

The owner was within his rights to defend his office and his wife, say police.

"If he felt it was necessary to stop that with deadly force, he's authorized to do that," Nealey said.

No argument from the neighbors.

"Shoot him? I would have shot him too," Brawner said.

The suspect is recovering and is in custody at Ben Taub Hospital. His name has not been released. He's believed to be about 55 years old and from out of state.