Alleged Tranquility Park gunman ruled not competent to stand trial

January 23, 2012 11:53:41 AM PST
A judge has ruled that a man who allegedly fired a rifle in Tranquility Park in November is not competent to stand trial.

Joshua Anthony Twohig, 21, was found incompetent Monday morning and will be sent to Vernon Hospital for mental evaluation. He will be brought back to court on May 2 to determine if he has regained competency.

Investigators say Twohig waved a 40-caliber rifle during an Occupy Houston rally before putting the gun to his head.

Twohig's attorney says his client has a history of metal illness and that his plan was to commit "suicide by cop."

Much of the incident was captured on cell phone video by an Occupy Houston protester camped out nearby. Twohig was dressed in a black suit and carrying the 40-caliber assault rifle. Prosecutors say an officer, who was flagged down by a protester, found the young father firing in the reflecting pond, then the state says he turned and pointed the gun at the officer.

That's when one officer shot him and prosecutors say he dropped his rifle, reached in his back waist band and was shot again. Prosecutors say when he reached for his rifle again, he was shot a third time.

Twohig's attorney says his client did not plan to come out of the park alive.

"There is a plethora of material that indicates that he was delusional, that he exhibited paranoia, that he had in the past heard voices; he was very definitely not a member of Occupy Houston. He was out there all by himself and quite frankly intended to commit suicide by cop," said George Parnham, Twohig's defense attorney.

Parnham said Twohig was on his medication at the time of the shooting.