An investigation is underway after Lancaster police say officers fatally shot a man who was firing a gun inside an apartment early Monday morning and who hours before was taken into custody and hospitalized for a mental health evaluation.
Police identified the man late Monday afternoon as 29-year-old Kalon J. Horton.
Lancaster Chief of Police Samuel Urbanski said during a news conference Monday morning that officers were first dispatched to a welfare check at the Spanish Trails Inn at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday night where a man was refusing to allow a woman to leave the hotel.
The latest news from around North Texas.
When the officers arrived, Urbanski said they determined the man may have been under the influence of an unknown substance and that he needed medical attention.
Urbanski said the man was taken into custody without a warrant and transferred to Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas for a mental evaluation. Urbanski said the man was subsequently released by the hospital at some point overnight.
Then, at 5:42 a.m. Lancaster police were called to a shooting in progress inside an apartment on the 1600 block of North Houston School Road.
Officers dispatched to the location were advised an adult woman and two children were in the home and that someone had fired several shots.
Lancaster police said Monday afternoon that when officers arrived at the residence they announced themselves and asked the man to come outside. Police said there was no response and that "fearing for the safety of the two juveniles, the officers entered the apartment which resulted in the male being fatally wounded."
After the shooting, Horton, was transported to Methodist Dallas Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.
No one else inside the home was injured.
Urbanski said the man in the apartment was the same man referred to the hospital for a mental evaluation the night before.
No further details were released by Urbanski regarding what took place between the arrival of officers at the apartment and the moments leading up to the shooting.
Urbanski did not say if the officers who responded to the shooting call were wearing body cameras or when any supplemental evidence, such as 911 calls or witness accounts, would be shared publicly.
The Texas Rangers are working with Lancaster police on the shooting investigation.
NBC 5 asked the spokesperson for the hospital to provide any information on the incident, keeping in mind federal privacy laws prevent hospitals from releasing a patient's personal information. The spokesperson has not yet responded to additional questions, general in nature, about the hospital's procedures when dealing with a mental evaluation of a person transported by police.
Horton’s friends showed up to the still-active scene Monday afternoon, hoping to learn more details about what happened.
Two women say they’ve known the victim for years and have never known to him to have any mental health issues.
They say he worked at a local warehouse and did not have any children.
“I’m not understanding what went wrong between 9 last night and five o’clock this morning,” said friend Brittany Drake. “Why was he released from the hospital if he was mentally unstable?”
Check back and refresh this page for the latest information. As details unfold, elements of this story may change.