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Shootout at Starbucks: Police officer opens fire on suspect at downtown coffee shop

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Houston police officer shoots suspect outside of downtown Starbucks February 2014
On Thursday morning, an HPD officer opened fire on a male suspect in front of a Starbucks on Dallas near Main. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11

A simple quest for a cup of coffee turned serious when a Houston police officer opened fire on a male suspect outside a Starbucks in downtown Houston Thursday morning.

Victor Senties, a spokesperson for the Houston Police Department, told CultureMap that officer S. Gallagher was simply getting his morning coffee around 9:30 a.m. when Starbucks employees alerted him to a man who had reportedly stolen goods from the coffee shop. The suspect began walking down the street, prompting the officer to ask him to stop.

After repeatedly ignoring Gallagher's commands, the suspect picked up a 4x4 from a nearby construction site and began swinging it at the officer's head. The officer opened fire, wounding the suspect in the arm. In spite of having sustained a gunshot wound, the suspect continued walking down the street until a Harris County Sheriff's Department deputy arrived at the scene and the man was taken into custody.

Customers were inside the coffee shop, which is connected to a Courtyard Marriott at Main and Dallas streets, at the time of the shooting. One customer, a woman visiting from Iowa, told KHOU 11 that the suspect was wearing a trench coat.

Suffering from non life-threatening injuries, the suspect was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Gallagher, who was not in uniform, was not injured.

The hotel and Starbucks are located only one block from HPD headquarters. Gallagher, who works for HPD's Burglary and Theft Division, has served on the force since 2010.

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