Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Police shoot woman suspected of wounding man with arrow

From The Houston Chronical.

This has got to beat all I have ever seen.

A woman was shot by a police officer and two civilians after she walked into a northwest Houston office building and shot a man with a bow and arrow Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Witnesses told investigators Julie Parker, 30, came into the Texas Components Corp.. office in the 1600 block of West Sam Houston Parkway with a bow and arrow and what appeared to be a handgun about 3 p.m., said Houston Police Department Sgt. John Chomiak.

As she walked in, an employee spotted her and the two argued as he tried to keep her from moving farther into the building, Chomiak said.

During the confrontation, the gun, which authorities later determined was a fake weapon, fell to the floor. That’s when Parker shot Armando Silva, 55, in the chest with an arrow, Chomiak said.

The armed employees ran outside the office building, where they continued to shoot. She was struck an unknown number of times, Chomiak said. Witnesses at other nearby businesses took cover and called police.

Police arrived about 3:15 p.m. and were told the woman was hiding in one of the rooms inside the office building.

When officers found Parker, she was still armed with the bow and arrow, police said.

A police sergeant ordered the woman to drop the weapon several times, Chomiak said.

“She refused and wheeled around towards the officers,” Chomiak said.

The sergeant, a 23-year veteran of the department, then fired an unknown number shots at the woman, striking her, Chomiak said.

Emergency medical personnel took Parker, along with the man shot with the arrow, to Ben Taub General Hospital. Chomiak said she is in stable condition and Silva is expected to survive.

Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the crime. Chomiak said the woman was not employed by the company, but her father, who was present during the attack, worked there. Police were interviewing the man late Monday. The owner of the company where the incident took place declined to comment.

Employees of other businesses in the strip center appeared stunned as officers investigated Monday evening.

Michael Barrera, who works at an optical company in the strip center, said employees had opened the door to enjoy the cool breeze that day.

“Next thing you know, we hear five or six gunshots,” the 44-year-old man said.

Minutes later, he saw police arrive and enter the building before hearing another hail of gunfire.

George Dustin, who owns a pool service company in the strip center, said he also heard several gunshots. Dustin said he saw paramedics bring out the woman as well as man with an arrow in his chest.

“They had to get a bolt cutter to get the arrow out and put him in the ambulance,” he said.

Chomiak said Parker could face charges of aggravated assault of a police officer along with additional charges for shooting the man with the arrow.

“It’s a very, very unusual, as well as chaotic, situation,” he said.

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