Gunman shot by police spat at officers who tried to give first aid
A GUNMAN who was shot by police after he crossed himself and raised his weapon towards them then spat at officers as they performed first aid on him, a court has heard.
Samuel Houlihan, 24, quickly drank three-quarters of a bottle of whisky as he sat in a taxi surrounded by armed officers who suspected he had carried out an armed robbery.
His terrified taxi driver had to flee from his minibus, convinced he was about to be shot by his passenger or be caught in the crossfire during the incident in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in May, Durham Crown Court heard.
Houlihan was shot through the taxi window and was extremely lucky to only receive a flesh wound to the shoulder, the court heard. Houlihan was due to be sentenced after admitting possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possessing a firearm when prohibited.
But his serious mental health problems meant he must now be assessed in hospital and the hearing was adjourned.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said that on the morning he was shot, Houlihan had bought an air pistol after lying to the assistant that he was not banned from owning a firearm.
He was warned in the shop to keep it out of sight or he could be caught in a police firearms incident. Judge Christopher Prince heard victim statements from the traumatised taxi driver who said he can no longer pick up strangers, and two armed officers, named only as C2 and C4, who feared they would be shot.
Houlihan, whose previous offences include dressing up as a PCSO, will be sentenced next year.