Mansfield police officer shoots gunman outside of an IHOP; investigation underway

A Mansfield police officer shot a man behind a 24-hour IHOP early Tuesday after he had been waving his gun inside the restaurant in front of customers and employees, police said.

Outside of the business, the man didn’t listen to police commands to drop his gun, according to Sgt. Travis Waybourn, a police spokesman.

The suspect, who was shot in the lower torso, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Waybourn said. His condition had stabilized later in the day. The officer who fired the shot will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation, per department policy.

Sam Adi, one of four owners of the IHOP on U.S. 287, said three people were working about 2:30 a.m. when a man “took the gun out and and put it on the table and kind of showed it to everybody.”

The employees “were a little taken back by it all,” said Adi, who has been on owner of the restaurant since it opened more than 15 years ago.

“They handled it amazingly,” he said standing in the parking lot of the business. “They were very brave.”

Mansfield officers were on the scene until about 9:30 a.m. as nine employees waited to re-enter the restaurant, hoping to be able to reopen at some point Tuesday.

The investigation is being led by the Texas Rangers Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is protocol for officer involved shootings, Waybourn said. They will work with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and Mansfield officers, he said, evaluating “every piece of evidence” including witness interviews and possible security videos.

At least one person had called 911 in the early morning hours Tuesday, Waybourn said. About three to four officers responded, he said, and saw a man with a gun through the window as they were setting up a perimeter.

Customers and employees exited the restaurant, according to Wayborn, who said he wasn’t sure if they had been directed by police or left on their own.

The suspect came out behind them, he said.

Positioned between the suspect and the customers, near the Dumpsters in the back, an officer told the man multiple times to drop the gun, Waybourn said. When he didn’t comply, the officer fired his weapon, he said.

Waybourn said he didn’t know how long the interaction lasted. He also wasn’t sure how the suspect had been holding the gun outside of the restaurant when the officer fired.

“That’s what’s being investigated,” he said.

Adi, who with his partners owns more than a dozen IHOPs throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, said at around 9:15 Tuesday morning they would need to get a cleaning crew to the restaurant and “then we’ll hopefully get our staff back in here and try to get back up.”

The shooting was a day after federal officers in Dallas shot and killed a masked Army veteran with a high-powered rifle who had opened fire outside of a federal courthouse.

In Fort Worth, officers have shot at four suspects since June 1.