Family hires George Zimmerman's lawyer after officer shoots patient at St. Joseph Medical Center

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The family of a patient shot by an off-duty HPD officer after being combative at a downtown hospital is raising questions about what happened.

Alan Christopher Pean, 26, was shot once in the abdomen Thursday morning at St. Joseph Medical Center. It happened on the 8th floor. Staff members contacted two HPD officers working security there about Pean.

When the two officers got there, they got into an altercation.

"When the officers arrived, he then began struggling with the officers, attempting to injure the officers," HPD Spokesman Keese Smith said. "The officers initially deployed a Taser, and when that taser had no effect, his partner then discharged a duty weapon striking the suspect."

Pean's family is outraged he was shot while seeking medical treatment. They have hired high-profile attorney Mark O'Mara of Florida to seek answers. O'Mara defended George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin in 2013.

O'Mara issued the following statement to ABC-13 Friday evening:

    "Alan Pean's family has hired me to represent their son and brother in the struggle that lies ahead. The family has told me that Alan went to the hospital to seek help for a mental health condition. Unfortunately, He condition worsened at the hospital, an altercation ensued, and he was shot. Now Alan is recovering, and his condition is uncertain, and there is a lot we don't know. The family needs answers about what happened to Alan. I'm here to help them get those answers, and I have had brief contact with law enforcement and will be working to figure out what happened and why."

Pean is being treated at the ICU for a gunshot wound. The two officers were also treated for their injuries. One has a concussion and the other, lacerations on his head.

Houston police and the Harris County DA are investigating, but at this point, police say the officer did nothing wrong.

Patients trying to get inside the emergency room for treatment at the time said they were turned away because of the chaos.
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