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Romantic pursuit may have sparked murder-suicide near Houston hospital

A Houston pharmacy employee shot and killed a female coworker he may have been trying to pursue a romantic relationship with before taking his own life near a hospital Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The suspect, identified as a 58-year-old male, walked up behind the female coworker and shot her several times before turning the gun on himself in an outpatient pharmacy near Ben Taub General Hospital, according to Houston police spokesman John Cannon.

Cannon told the Los Angeles Times that at least seven other employees heard the gunshots, and several colleagues told police that the suspect may have been trying to “enhance” a relationship with the female victim.

“Some of the employees are telling us in recent days the suspect had been trying to further a relationship with her. … That’s the only possible motive we are working on right now,” Cannon said in a phone interview.

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Police have not released the identities of the gunman or victim, and Cannon said it’s not clear if the two had been involved in a romantic relationship before the shooting. 

The shooter and victim had worked at the pharmacy for several years, according to Cannon.

The shooter used a 9-millimeter handgun that was recovered at the scene, according to Cannon, who said it wasn’t clear if the weapon was legally owned. Police have also recovered surveillance footage of the shooting.

No one else was injured, and the shooting did not affect hospital trauma or emergency services, Cannon said.

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George Masi, president of Harris Health System, which operates Ben Taub General Hospital, said in a statement: “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.”

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT on Twitter for breaking news.


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