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Off-duty HPD officer shoots, injures man during confrontation at Ben Taub Hospital parking garage

The man, who was reportedly having a psychological episode, was armed with a knife when he charged at the officer and a DPS trooper.

HOUSTON — An off-duty police officer shot a man early Monday inside the parking garage at Ben Taub Hospital, the Houston Police Department confirmed

HPD believes the man came to the hospital wanting to check himself in because he was in psychological distress. 

And then around 1:21 a.m., he was seen on surveillance footage leaving a stairwell in the parking garage and then walking to to his truck. That's where Police Chief Art Acevedo said he was seen cutting himself with a knife before going back to the stairwell.

"A security officer responded, an unarmed security guard from the hospital system, observed a pool of blood by the suspect's truck," Acevedo said.

The police chief said a DPS trooper and an HPD officer, who were both working extra security jobs at the hospital, were called in to help. The chief said they began searching for the man.

According to police, the man charged at the HPD officer who responded by retreating and instructing the man to drop the knife. That's when Acevedo said the officer fired two shots, hitting the man. He fell to the ground, but then police said he immediately jumped back up and got into the officer's personal vehicle -- a truck.

Investigators said the man wasn't able to get the vehicle into gear. Both officers pulled him out of the truck and subdued him. A straight-edge knife was found at the scene, police said.

The man was admitted to Ben Taub Hospital for treatment. At last report, the man was being treated for the gunshot wounds as well as self-inflicted cuts to his neck and arms.

"You feel sorry for everyone," Acevedo said. "You feel badly for an individual that reportedly came here to check himself in for some kind of emotional, psychological episode, possible trauma issue. You feel bad for our officer, who was just here trying to keep people safe."

Acevedo said the officer was bitten during the altercation, but besides that, he's OK. He's been placed on limited duty pending an investigation, which is standard procedure.

Investigators said both the officer, who has been with HPD for nine years, and the DPS trooper are law enforcement veterans. 

HPD said there is no officer body camera footage from the incident as the officers were off-duty, but there is surveillance footage from hospital cameras

Acevedo said the officers were in full uniform and identified themselves. He added they had no knowledge he may have tried to check himself before the incident.

Acevedo said both an internal and criminal investigation are being conducted.

This is a developing story and will be updated once more information is available.

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