HPD: 2 dead in apparent murder-suicide at Ben Taub Hospital

By Sara Fatima Dhanji, Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Houston police said a pharmacist and pharmacy technician died Wednesday afternoon in an apparent murder-suicide at Ben Taub hospital's outpatient pharmacy.

According to investigators, surveillance video shows a 58-year-old man using a 9 mm handgun to shoot a younger female coworker in the back. She never saw him coming, police said.

"She was standing at her work station when the suspect walks by and then is out of her range, she cannot see him and at that time that's when he discharges his weapon," Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said.

The gunman then shot and killed himself, police said.

Dozens of people were inside the pharmacy waiting to pick up prescriptions and reported hearing multiple gunshots.

"First we thought it was a firecracker going off," said Suzanne Dziema.

Police said the shooter recently tried to start a relationship with the younger woman.

The Medical Examiner's Office will perform autopsies and positively identify the shooter and the victim.

George Masi, president and CEO of Harris Health System, which operates Ben Taub, issued a statement that read, in part, "At this most difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two staff who lost their lives as a result of this senseless violence, as well as to every Harris Health System employee and the members of our medical staff."

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