Coronary artery imaging with x-ray computed tomography (CT) is one of the most recent advancements in CT clinical applications. Although existing "state-of-the-art" clinical protocols today utilize helical data acquisition, it suffers from the lack of ability to handle irregular heart rate and relatively high x-ray dose to patients. In this paper, we propose a step-and-shoot data acquisition protocol that significantly overcomes these shortcomings. The key to the proposed protocol is the large volume coverage (40 mm) enabled by the cone beam CT scanner, which allows the coverage of the entire heart in 3 to 4 steps. In addition, we propose a gated complementary reconstruction algorithm that overcomes the longitudinal truncation problem resulting from the cone beam geometry. Computer simulations, phantom experiments, and clinical studies were conducted to validate our approach.