HOUSTON – A man who police said was suicidal, holding a knife and walking around on the freeway is expected to survive after he jumped off a bridge after officers shot him in the chest with a bean bag.
On Monday evening, officers said a driver called 911 when he noticed a man, now identified as Cavin Cruise, 36, walking around on the overpass of Highway 288 at Reed Road around 6:20 p.m.
When police arrived, officers shut down the freeway and approached Cruise.
“He made statements that he wanted to see his maker, (Cruise) appeared to be suicidal at that time. The officers talked to him for about 10 minutes, trying to get him to drop the weapon and get off the freeway,” explained Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins with the Houston Police Department.
Dobbins said the 35-year-old man approached the railing, but was about 2 feet away from the edge when the officer fired the non-lethal round into his chest.
"He stepped away from the rail, about 2 feet, standing flat-footed facing him, they (police) took that time to discharge the less-than-lethal shotgun with the bean bag. At that time, it hit him in the chest. When it hit him in the chest, he looked down, dropped the knife, turned and took a couple of steps and attempted to jump over,” Dobbins said.
Dobbins said the officers ran to him and grabbed his legs, but lost their grip.
The man fell onto the feeder road, police said. Houston police said there was an ambulance already at the scene. The man was taken to Ben Taub Hospital. Dobbins said the man has internal bleeding and a broken pelvis but is expected to survive.
Officers redirected people from the northbound lanes of Highway 288 to the feeder road so investigators could survey the scene.
Dobbins said they treated it as an officer-involved shooting, because a weapon was discharged.
As with any officer-involved shooting, police said the officers will be placed on administrative duty.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line, 1-800-273-8255.
Officials provided updates from the scene around 9 p.m.