PEARLAND, Texas - A suspect injured while trying to steal copper over the weekend was later shot and killed by a Pearland officer when he was caught trying to escape a hospital, police said.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m. Sunday outside Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, according to a spokesman for the Pearland Police Department.

Police said an officer was guarding the suspect outside his hospital room, where he was handcuffed to his bed. Somehow, the man was able to free himself and make his way outside without anyone noticing.

Upon realizing the suspect escaped, police went outside and discovered the man fleeing toward a nearby pond. The Pearland officer gave chase and swam through the pond while shouting for the suspect to stop.

According to police, the officer opened fire on the suspect as he turned back toward the officer. The fatally wounded suspect was moved back into the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police spokesman Jodi Silva would not say if the man was still wearing handcuffs when he was shot.

Silva said the officer who opened fire has been with the Pearland Police Department for four years.

Police said the suspect was recently arrested at a shopping center for copper theft. He was wanted for at least one felony warrant.

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