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Off-duty Texas trooper shoots Black neighbor he thought was intruder

Police said the off-duty trooper shot his Houston neighbor through a closed door, striking him in the shoulder.
Off-duty Texas trooper shoots Black neighbor he mistakes for intruder
Posted at 2:44 PM, Sep 26, 2023

An off-duty officer in Houston shot his Black neighbor through a closed door, thinking that he may have been an intruder, officials said. 

The incident happened overnight next to Minute Maid Park, which is where the Houston Astros play. 

Authorities said the shooter was not affiliated with the Houston Police Department, but that he was a Texas Highway Patrol trooper. They did not disclose his name. 

"That trooper believed that a suspect was trying to break into his apartment. He discharged his weapon one time and struck the suspect on the right shoulder," HPD Assistant chief Yasar Bashir said in a media briefing. 

The man was transported to the hospital and is expected to recover.

Police do not yet have clear answers as to why the trooper thought the man — who lives on the premises — was trying to break in. They said there was no evidence of forced entry, but that the trooper did make several commands from the door before shooting.

"We are looking into that more, why he believed that," Bashir said.

Police believe the man could have mistaken the trooper's residence for his own, CNN said. The two live one floor apart, with units that stack on top each other, and the last two digits on their doors are the same.

Residents told CNN it is hard to tell things apart in the building because the floors and units look the same from the outside. One even said they've tried to enter the wrong unit before.

Here is a look at two different floors at 500 Crawford in Houston:

Police said they are still in the early stages of the investigation.

The incident is the latest in a string of cases in which officers have shot members of the public outside their residences when it was unclear why they were there. The incidents often spark conversations about race and policing.

In a prior Texas incident, ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder when she shot her Black neighbor Botham Jean after mistakenly walking into his apartment instead of her own. Her defense argued she thought she was in her own apartment and mistook him for an intruder.

SEE MORE: Ex-Dallas police officer guilty of murder in shooting of Botham Jean

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