Suspect shoots himself in stomach after firing rifle during SWAT standoff in Galleria area, HPD says

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
SWAT standoff ends when suspect shoots himself in stomach, HPD says
Police believe the suspect called 911 himself, threatening to open fire on his apartment complex. That's exactly what happened when his neighbor was hit in the foot by a rifle shot

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of barricading himself inside his apartment is in critical condition after police said he shot himself in the stomach before surrendering during an hourslong SWAT standoff in the Galleria area.

The standoff happened at the Yorktown Apartments in the 2600 block of Yorktown Street near Westheimer Road.

Houston police identified the suspect as 30-year-old Alexander Cabrera. Investigators believe he likely called 911 on himself.

On the 911 call, police said he threatened to open fire on his apartment complex -- which is exactly what he ended up doing.

An innocent 51-year-old woman -- the man's neighbor across the walkway -- was shot in the foot. HPD said she is expected to be OK.

Police said officers first arrived at the scene just before 2 a.m. after the 911 call was placed. The suspect was reportedly yelling and causing a disturbance at the complex.

"They located a male standing on a balcony," Lt. Rick Besselman said. "There was some sort of yelling going on between the male and the officers."

When officers tried to approach the suspect, he returned to his apartment.

Police said the standoff began around 2:45 a.m.

Inside the apartment, HPD said the suspect fired a rifle four times. One of those bullets hit his neighbor in the foot as she was inside her apartment.

"The officers were able to get shields and were able to go up to the apartment where the female was shot," Besselman said. "They put themselves in very, very much danger by doing this."

Another bullet went through several walls of yet another apartment. Petros Patrianakos showed ABC13 the bullet that hit just above is bed.

"If, at that moment, I had gotten up to go to the bathroom, for example, I could not be talking to you right now," Patrianakos said. "I guess (it was) divine providence."

At some point, the suspect came onto a balcony without a weapon and began talking directly with officers, though he never said why he wouldn't surrender. HPD said negotiators talked to him for two to three hours before they said he shot himself in the stomach with a pistol.

After that, he came crawling out of his unit.

The suspect was loaded into an ambulance around 5:30 a.m. and taken to the hospital with serious injuries. HPD said he underwent surgery and described his condition as "very critical."

"It's a shame that the female across the way suffered that gunshot wound, but we're very lucky that that's the only person who got injured out here," Besselman said. "Firing outside of his apartment with a rifle is extremely dangerous. It's unfortunate that somebody did get shot, but it could have been worse."

Cabrera is charged with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury, though additional charges could be filed. He's still in the hospital but is expected to appear in court once he fully recovers.

No SWAT officers fired their weapons, and no officers were hurt, according to HPD.