Off-duty officer kills suspected burglar

April 11, 2008 10:15:07 AM PDT
There was a deadly police shooting on the northwest side overnight. A suspected car burglar was killed by an off-duty Houston police officer. And now, both investigators and the victim's family are searching for answers. Police confirmed for us this morning that the suspect was shot after he lunged at the officer with a screwdriver.

"Everybody who knows him knows he wouldn't do anything like that," said Barbara Stokes, mother of the suspected burglar. "He isn't going to break into anybody's car."

It's a story Barbara just doesn't want to believe about her son, Timothy Stokes. Houston police say off-duty Houston police Sergeant C.J. Jones caught him breaking into a car at the Tidwell Estates apartments on Tidwell near Wheatley in northwest Houston this morning.

Jones identified himself as an officer, asked Stokes to step out of the car. Stokes did, but he reportedly lunged at the officer with a large screwdriver and was shot.

"There was a radio that was jimmied. The suspect had broken into the back window of the car and was inside the vehicle," said Captain Bruce Williams with the Houston Police Department. "And evidence shows us that this was not his vehicle."

"He can tell his side, but a dead man can't talk," said Barbara. "That's what it's about."

She does admit her son has had brushes with the law, but she still has questions about what happened. No doubt, the police do as well, but say the officer was justified. Stokes just simply didn't follow orders.

"We gave the suspect verbal commands to exit. The suspect did, but lunged towards the officer in an aggressive manner," said Captain Williams. "The officer, fearing for his life, stepping back, fired once."

The case remains under investigation.

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