Robbery suspect with pellet gun shot by McAllen police

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The pellet gun used by a robbery suspect at the South 23rd Street Stripes convenience store Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of the McAllen Police Department)

A McAllen police officer shot a man with a pellet gun who was suspected of robbing two Stripes convenience stores in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

At around 1:21 a.m., an employee at a Stripes convenience store located in the 5700 block of South 10th Street in McAllen reported to police that a person described only as a “male” robbed the store at the threat of killing the person with a gun, according to a McAllen Police Department news release.

The suspect fled the area in what police identified as a black sports utility vehicle.

Police at around 1:29 a.m. then responded to the 4600 block of South 23rd Street where they found a black SUV parked across the entrance of another Stripes, which Lt. Joel Morales said was also in the process of being robbed.

Officer Miguel Ortega parked his police unit facing the SUV and walked around its rear end. Authorities said in the release that the robbery suspect confronted Ortega with a “gun in hand as he exited” the store.

Ortega, who’s worked as a McAllen police officer for one year, discharged his firearm at the suspect after he “raised his weapon” at the officer.

The suspect was shot once by Ortega and taken to a local hospital, where his condition remains known but is under “medical care,” according to police.

Little is known about the person other than Ortega identifying him as the robbery suspect, and that he is “believed to be Hispanic, age unknown, has not been identified and remains undocumented at this time.”

Regarding the suspect’s weapon, police provided a photo of it and described it as being “made in the form of a semi-auto handgun” but “may” actually be a pellet gun.