HOUSTON – A newly released video from a witness shows a clearer picture of what happened during last week’s shootout between an armed man and police in downtown Houston’s Tranquility Park.
Police said Joshua Anthony Twohig, dressed in a business suit and armed with an assault rifle, walked into Tranquility Park in downtown Houston around 5:10 p.m. last Monday and started shooting into the air and a nearby fountain.
David Loeser captured the entire incident on video. The Houston Police Department took his camera moments after the shooting and he just got it back.
“I started it up as soon as he shot into the water and I realized that was real bullets,” he said.
The video shows Twohig standing on a bridge near the park’s fountains and pond. Loeser captured the scene as officers told Twohig to drop his weapon. Twohig refused, instead shooting once into the pond and then pointing the gun to his head.
Police said Twohig screamed, “Shoot me! Shoot me!”
When Twohig made hostile advances toward the officers, they opened fire. The video shows Twohig falling to the ground, but then getting up again and reaching for his rifle. At that point, the officers fired again, and Twohig went back down.
Moments later, U.S. Deputy Marshals arrived and helped take Twohig into custody.
The 21-year-old has a long history of mental illness and was diagnosed bipolar, and schizophrenic, his family said. His wife said he had been showing signs of trouble for months.
“I think everything just bottled up and he just exploded. He wasn’t there to hurt anybody.He even said he would not hurt anybody,” Bianca Twohig said.
She said her husband chose the Occupy Houston protest in Tranquility Park because he knew police would be there quick.
“He wanted to pretty much end his own life,” she said.
Joshua Twohig was still in Ben Taub hospital Monday night recovering from surgery to repair the ankle shattered by one of the three shots that hit him. He faces charges of attempted aggravated assault of a peace officer.