Panhandler shot in NW Houston is Army vet, father

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A panhandler was shot in the shoulder while holding a sign begging for money in northwest Houston.

It happened near West Tidwell Road and Antoine Drive just after 11:00 Monday night.

We've learned the man is in intensive care at the hospital, but he's stable.

Police said the panhandler's sign read: "I'm too ugly to strip but you can cuss me out for a dollar."

A man claiming to be a friend of the panhandler recognized the sign and contacted ABC13.

He said the panhandler was not homeless. He lives in an apartment near the intersection where he was shot.

The friend said the man is a U.S. Army veteran and a father, who is training to become a carpenter. In the last year, he's worked hard to get back on his feet.

"Witnesses in the area reported the male was standing in the median with a cardboard sign, soliciting money, when a silver four-door vehicle pulled up. They heard a shot, the vehicle drove off," said Lt. Larry Crowson with HPD.

ABC13 has viewed surveillance video from the Chevron gas station across the street that captured moments before and after the shooting. No silver car was seen pulling up or driving away. The video shows five to six people running to the panhandler to help right after he was shot.

One gas station worker said three different panhandlers frequent the corner where the shooting happened, though he wasn't sure which panhandler was shot.

Investigators aren't aware of an altercation that happened before the shooting between the panhandler and shooter.

In April, Houston's new ordinance banning panhandlers from impeding a roadway, sidewalks and doorways went into effect.

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