HOUSTON – Three Houston police officers shot an unarmed man late Sunday night after a cell phone was mistaken as a gun, police said.
It happened on the southwest side of town on Beechnut Street at Jorine Drive around 11:10 p.m.
According to the Houston Police Department, officers received a call about a suspicious person with a gun. When they arrived in the area, they found a man fitting the description of the suspect.
Officers said they asked the man repeatedly, in both English and Spanish, to show his hands, but he failed to comply.
Police said the man also reached toward his waistband more than once. He pulled out a black object, and three officers opened fire on him, striking the suspect once in his leg.
The object turned out to be a cell phone, but police defended their actions, saying they feared for their lives.
The man was transported to the hospital in stable condition.
Investigators said they are looking to determine why the man refused to comply with officers’ commands.
An HPD spokesman said one of the officers involved had been on the force for less than a year. The second officer had six years experience while the third officer had eight years experience.