The owner of a trucking equipment store was shot by a police officer near Houston on Monday after the two exchanged fire in confusion over a robbery.
The incident occurred at around 11:45 p.m. on March 23rd in Harris County, Texas.
According to ABC 13 News, the 72-year-old unnamed store owner called police to report a burglary after witnessing the theft via video feed at his home. The owner then headed to his business, unaware that a police officer had already arrived on scene.
When the store owner arrived at his business and noticed the officer, he mistook him for the robber and began shooting at him. The officer then returned fire and struck the owner in the shoulder.
“Yeah, he was walking towards me. He just started firing and I haven’t even checked the business,” the deputy responded via radio during the shooting.
Media briefing from Major S Cotter for Deputy involved shooting of a man in the 13600 Ralph Culver rd. #hounews” pic.twitter.com/SNo1k8F56u— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) March 23, 2021
Investigators say that the store owner shot first, and was dressed in clothing similar to the description of the robber – a white male wearing a black shirt – which led to the officer opening fire. To add to the confusion, officials say that the officer’s car was “blacked out” as part of the protocol for responding to a burglary.
“The deputy’s car was blacked out because he was responding to a burglary call,” Major Susan Cotter said. “So he [the shop owner] mistook the deputy for the burglar.”
The responding officer was not shot in the incident. The store owner is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
The trucking equipment store has reportedly been broken into several times in the past.
The incident is still under investigation.