Police say mental illness was major factor in South Loop shooting

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A smashed window. A lost life.

It was the aftermath of what Houston Police are calling a mental health episode which escalated out of control within the Community Health Choice building on the South Loop.

"They say someone got shot on the 5th floor and for everyone to stay calm and still and then they locked all the doors," said Valerie Jones who was in the building when the shot rang out.

It happened around 11:45 AM when investigators say an African American man in his 30's came here to the 5th floor office of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative services for an initial meeting.
Detectives say the man became agitated and was asked to come back at a later date. He instead returned minutes later and when locked out of the office began kicking the glass door.

"He kicked the door pretty much all the way in. By that time he drew the attention of other tenants in other offices. Some came out and apparently he turned his attention to the office directly to the left," said Willis Huff a Detective with HPD Homicide.

The episode turned violent when the rampage spilled into that adjacent office and the owner of the accounting business felt compelled to pull a 9 mm pistol and neutralize the threat.

"He was shot one time by the owner of that room," said Huff.

The business owner, described by police as an African American man in his late 50's, was taken into custody for questioning.

No charges have been filed.