Deputy who fired fatal shot in death of unarmed man last month fired after investigation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The deputy who fatally shot Danny Ray Thomas has been fired, the Harris County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

After an internal investigation, Deputy Cameron Brewer was fired for not "adhering to the Sheriff's Office Use of Force Policy." Brewer was also carrying a taser when he shot Danny Ray Thomas. A spokesman said he should have used his non-lethal option first.

When reached by Eyewitness News by phone, Brewer said he had "no comment" and hung up.

He can appeal his termination.

It was March 22 when Brewer drove up on an argument involving Thomas and another man at the intersection of Greens Road and Imperial Valley. Thomas was walking in the intersection with his pants around his ankles.

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Investigators said Thomas ignored Brewer's commands to stop and continued walking towards him.
Ultimately, Brewer fired one shot, hitting Thomas in the chest. He was unarmed. Brewer, who had been on administrative duty with pay, was notified about his firing Friday afternoon.

"Is this justified? I would say this is a step in the right direction but it cannot be the last step. There will be no pep rallies because Officer Brewer got fired. The DA still has to do their job," said Pastor E.A. Deckard of the No More Bloodshed Movement. He has stood beside Thomas' family since the shooting and recently performed his funeral.

"He had a taser and a gun. He should have chosen the taser," said Deckard who also works to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the Greenspoint community.

Thomas' shooting has sparked protests and a civil lawsuit.

"The brave men and women of the Harris County Sheriff's Office are called upon to make life-or-death decisions on a daily basis, and we take that responsibility very seriously," said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez in a statement. "We hold the community's trust as sacred, and we will continue to support our deputies with clear policies and the valuable training they need to protect the lives of all our residents."

Brewer had worked for the Harris County Sheriff's Office since June 2016 and had seven years total law enforcement experience.

The case is expected to be presented to a Harris County grand jury in the coming weeks.

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