Deputies shoot gun-wielding man inside Cypress hospital ER

The 21-year-old man was admitted to the hospital in critical condition but is expected to recover, according to Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Cedrick Collier, who added that the man remained combative.

The incident happened about 8:45 a.m. at North Cypress Medical Center at 21214 Northwest Freeway near Huffmeister in the Cypress area.

Officers respond to a shooting at North Cypress Medical Center 
on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in Houston. The incident happened about 9.am. after a suspect walked into an emergency room, pulled out a gun and fired at least one shot into the air.  Deputies at the scene ordered the man to drop the weapon, but he refused.  One deputy opened fire on the man, wounding him.
( J. Patric Schneider / For the Chronicle )

The man left his waiting room and fired shots into the ceiling, sending receptionists scrambling under their desks, Collier said.

He then went outside toward a medical center and shopping area, but the two deputies confronted him about 40 feet outside the emergency room doors. They commanded him to drop the weapon, but he turned and pointed it at them, Collier said. Both deputies fired their weapons, striking him several times.

No other injuries were reported.

“We’re very lucky today,” Collier said.

A high-risk team deployed in case of multiple shooters. He credited the deputies’ quick reaction with preventing more violence.

The spokesman said one of the deputies has worked 10 years with the sheriff’s office and the other three years. Both will be placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard after an officer-involved shooting.

Police said investigators have not yet spoken with the suspect, who does not have a criminal history and likely will face charges that could include assault with a deadly weapon.

According to hospital officials, the man arrived at the facility about 8 a.m. saying he needed an X-ray. A nurse evaluated him and walked him to a waiting room, where another nurse and a doctor also evaluated him, the hospital said in a statement. When he was asked to take off his clothes for examination, he refused and left the room.

A hospital courtesy officer followed him. Then the man began to run. He went to the ambulance bay of the emergency room, pulled out a gun and fired a shot, according to the hospital. No one was wounded.

Afterward, he ran through the lobby and out of the facility. That’s where deputies confronted him and fired their weapons, hitting the man four or five times in the legs and torso, Collier said. Homicide investigators and crime-scene technicians gathered evidence in the area, using at least 20 evidence markers to indicate shell casings and other items of interest.

The hospital complex largely had returned to normal by noon Tuesday as patients checked in to a neighboring outpatient clinic and employees stopped by a coffee bar just feet away from a bullet hole in a window.

A window near the North Cypress Medical Center emergency room apparently was struck by a bullet during a police confrontation with an armed patient Tuesday morning, Jan. 3, 2017. (Andrew Kragie / Houston Chronicle)

A window near the North Cypress Medical Center emergency room apparently was struck by a bullet during a police confrontation with an armed patient Tuesday morning, Jan. 3, 2017. (Andrew Kragie / Houston Chronicle)

One woman, who did not give her name, said her coworker heard the gunshots as she was parking at the suburban complex.

“Our doctors work there,” the woman said. “We walk by there every day.”

andrew.kragie@chron.com

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