The Houston Police Department is investigating the shooting of an unarmed man by two police officers in southwest Houston over the weekend, according to a statement the department issued Monday morning.
Police say two officers shot 38-year-old Michael Paul Walker after he acted erratically and appeared to reach for a weapon during a traffic stop Friday night.
HPD officers stopped the vehicle, reportedly because the driver was driving erratically, at about 10 p.m. Friday night on the Buffalo Speedway near Fuqua, according to police. Officers ordered the driver out of the vehicle, at which time police say Walker, the passenger, also attempted to exit the car.
According to police, Walker repeatedly ignored commands to stay in the car, and also refused to show his hands. Police say Walker reached under his seat, which led officers to believe he was reaching for a weapon. That's when one of the officers shot Walker as he sat inside the vehicle, according to police.
Walker then got out of the car and made "threatening movements," police claim. That's when the second officer fired on Walker, who was hit at least three times during the incident.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
A bystander caught part of the incident on video. The video, which was shared with Channel 13, shows Walker after he's already been shot by the first officer. Walker is seen walking away from police as they yell, "Get on the ground, Mike," with their guns pointed drawn.
In the video, Walker stumbles toward the front of a store and pulls off his shirt. Over the shouting, you can hear Walker asking why the officers shot him. The video cuts off before the second officer fires shots.
Walker was shot twice in the legs and once in the stomach during the incident. He is currently in stable condition at Ben Taub Hospital, police say. "Both the driver and the passenger were subsequently found to be under the influence of narcotics," according to an HPD statement. Walker has since been charged with possessing less than a gram of methamphetamine, according to court records.
Police acknowledge that Walker did not have a weapon.