KERRVILLE, Tx. – An officer has been put on administrative leave after fatally shooting a knife-wielding suspect who threatened him on Sunday afternoon in Texas, ABC 12 News reported.
When questioned about the possibility of having disarmed the man using non-lethal force, the department spokesperson said that their officers are not equipped with Tasers and using pepper spray would have been ineffective.
The incident began when a Kerrville police officer responded to a call of a man waving a knife around while walking down the street in the 900 block of Sidney Baker Street, police said. A marked unit was the first to make contact with the suspect.
While the body cam video from the responding officer has not been released to the public as of yet, Sgt. Jonathan Lamb of the Kerrville Police said that it was activated at the time of the shooting and is being reviewed as part of the investigation into the fatal shooting.
According to Sgt. Lamb, the suspect threatened the officer with the knife shortly after he arrived on the scene. Lamb confirmed that he did not yet know the details of how the officer had been threatened.
Lamb said that the officer felt as though his life was in danger and so he drew and fired his service weapon, striking and killing the suspect.
Please stay clear of the area for a while if you can…https://t.co/0uCS1fUdy9
— Texas Breaking News (@TexasBreaking) September 1, 2019
When questions starting pouring in about the potential use of non-lethal force, Sgt. Lamb said that the officer used his training and his best judgement in handling the situation. He also commented that the Kerrville department is not outfitted with Tasers for their officers.
“Well first and foremost Tasers are not always effective, but the reason a Taser was not utilized in this instance is Kerrville Police department are not equipped with Tasers,” Lamb said in a press conference following the shooting.
He also said that given the circumstances, OC spray would most likely not have stopped the man from engaging in that behavior.
“When faced with a lethal threat like that a non-lethal alternative like pepper spray would probably not have been the best course of action.”
Officials say that the Kerrville Police Department have been joined by the Texas Rangers to conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting. The unidentified officer who was involved in the shooting has been place on administrative leave while they look into the case.
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The suspect was pronounced dead on the scene when emergency crews arrived. He has not yet had his identity made public.
While it’s easy for the public and critics of police to immediately condemn the actions of the officer – without knowing all of the facts – it’s important for people to remember the kinds of situations that police officers in America find themselves in on a daily basis.
A harsh critic of police use of force was invited out to a hands-on training course regarding non-compliant suspects who may potentially pose a risk to responding police officers.
And he found out that it wasn’t so easy to judge a cop’s actions after he’d been through it.
Check it out.