A disgruntled patient fires a pistol inside a northwest Harris County hospital before deputies shoot him.
Deputies fired their weapons at the man in the parking lot of North Cypress Medical Center.
"I thought it was a firecracker," said Siryon Können, who lives in an adjacent apartment complex. "Pow, pow, just like that. How many? I think it was like 3-to-4 times." Investigators say it was at least that many shots.
A patient arrived to the emergency room at around 8 a.m. Tuesday demanding treatment, according to a statement from the medical center. Staff began their evaluation and when they asked the man to disrobe, he refused and left the room. A courtesy officer followed him and he ran. He then stopped, pulled out a pistol and opened fire toward the ceiling of the building. Then he ran outside where two Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies confronted him and told him to drop the weapon.
"He refused their order," said HCSO Sergeant Cedrick Collier. "Both officers discharged their weapons striking the male several times. The male is in critical condition. He is currently in the ER in stable condition and there are no life-threatening injuries to him."
But questions remain. Why would the 21-year-old man with no criminal record act this way? Why did he go to the hospital? Also, how did he bring a pistol into the building undetected?
Deputies say some of those answers are hard to come by because the man is in pain and still combative, but they say it was lucky nobody else was hurt, a feeling shared by witnesses.
"It's so sad," said Können as shaking his head. "Wow. So sad."
The two deputies were working as security officers for the medical center.