Prosecutors: Man in wheelchair randomly shot man leaving gym with daughter

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - The man accused of shooting a man who was leaving a gym appeared before a judge for the first time on Tuesday.

Joey Harper, 27, was arrested Sunday and is accused of shooting 39-year-old Alex Olmedo as he left the 24 Hour Fitness on Elgin and Louisiana with his 6-year-old daughter. 

Police said Olmedo had just left the gym and was putting his daughter in the backseat of their SUV on the third floor of the parking garage.

That’s when police said Harper, who was wearing a mask and is in a wheelchair, approached Olmedo from behind and opened fire, hitting Olmedo twice.

Police say Olmedo managed to tackle Harper but he wrestled away, got back in his wheelchair and escaped.

A witness followed Harper to a CVS three blocks away, where officers caught him. Harper was taken into custody and charged with felon in possession of a weapon.

Police said Harper had a mask and a gun with him when he was taken into custody.

Harper has a long criminal history including assault with a deadly weapon, stalking, terroristic threats and robbery resulting in bodily injury.

During his court appearance, prosecutors said the shooting was random. Prosecutors also said Harper is facing a new charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Harper is being held without bond.

Olmedo underwent extensive surgery Monday and is in stable condition. Family members said he did not know Harper prior to the shooting.

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