A single gunshot was heard through the halls of St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston on Thursday after an off-duty officer shot Rio Grande Valley native Alan Pean in the chest.
His brother Christian Pean told Action 4 News that the Mission family was finally able to see him – 48 hours after he was admitted into the St. Joseph Medical Center.
Alan Pean was shot in his own hospital room by an off-duty officer, after police said he had become “combative.”
Christian Peon said his brother’s tubes have been removed and he is now able to breathe on his own.
“The bullet just missed his vital organs, coming out his back,” Christian Pean said. “I was preparing myself for the fact that I was traveling to Houston to bury my brother.”
Alan Pean, who is the son of a Mission doctor and graduated from Sharyland High School, is currently a student at the University of Houston. He was at the hospital because he was seeking help for a mental health issue.
“My brother went to the hospital as a patient and now is treated like a criminal,” said Christian Pean, who is also studying medicine.
Houston police said Pean became aggressive and combative while he was receiving care. Two officers who were working off-duty security at the medical center entered Pean’s room, where one of them said he was forced to fire.
Investigators said the two off-duty officers suffered head injuries while trying to subdue Pean. The officers used a Taser before one of them opened fire.
“I was shocked. I was outraged. I was grief-stricken,” Christian Pean said. “We have lots of questions as to why there were lethal weapons in a hospital.”
To help answer their questions, the family hired attorney Mark O’Mara. The high profile lawyer is no stranger to the national spotlight, as he represented George Zimmerman and had him acquitted in the Trayvon Martin case back in 2013.
In a statement O’Mara said:
“Alan has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, and I will be working with the family to navigate through this difficult matter. Please keep Alan and the two officers who were also injured in your prayers. There is no doubt that these were extraordinary circumstances and that Alan was experiencing a severe mental health episode at the time of the event. In the meantime, we will be investigating how this tragedy could have occurred and how it could have been avoided.”
Pean’s family said they are still trying to grasp what happened.
“He went to the hospital where he thought he was going to get appropriate care, instead he got a bullet to the chest,” Christian Pean said.
Alan Pean is recovering in the hospital. A bond for the assault charges has been set $60,000.