La Marque man was fatally shot in the back by officer, uncle says

Thursday, December 10, 2020
There's more to La Marque man's death by police, family says
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Family members of a man shot and killed by a police officer in La Marque say their loved one was wounded with his back turned.

LA MARQUE, Texas (KTRK) -- A La Marque police officer shot and killed a 22-year-old man who investigators say was a person of interest and possibly connected to recent shootings in town.

Family has identified the man as Joshua Feast, a Black man, from La Marque.

While La Marque police announced Feast's race during Thursday morning's press conference, La Marque Police Chief Kirk Jackson and Mayor Pro-tem Keith Bell refused to release the age or race of the officer who killed Feast.

Feast was shot around 11:15 p.m. on Wednesday on Pirtle Street, across the street from his uncle's house, where he was staying. A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, says she got home to find Feast standing outside a black car, talking to his child's mother. The neighbor says she chatted with Feast, asked them to move the car, and then went inside her house.

Feast's uncle tells Eyewitness News, that's when a La Marque police officer driving down the street made a sudden U-turn, pulled up, and yelled Feast's name. Feast ran. His uncle said the officer shot Feast in the back.

"I run to my bedroom window and I heard the officer tell him, 'Put your hands up where I can see them!'" the neighbor said. "But (Josh) was already shot. After (he) was shot, (the officer) said put your hands where I can see them."

The neighbor went on to describe the last moments of Feast's life.

"I came outside and overheard the officer saying, 'Talk to me, Josh. Talk to me, talk to me.' As if he sees him fading away without trying to render aid or at least help him," the neighbor said.

Initially, La Marque police did not release many details about what happened other than to say the officer who shot Feast has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation happens, which is customary.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office will conduct the investigation.

During the Thursday press conference, Jackson, Bell, and Rev. James Daniels, a local pastor, addressed the media for the first time regarding the shooting.

WATCH: La Marque police briefing turns heated

"We have reason to believe the individual was armed," Jackson said of Feast, reading from a prepared statement. "There were firearms recovered at the scene."

Jackson would not elaborate on how many guns were found or whether Feast had a gun on him when he was shot. Jackson would not say if the officer who shot Feast feared for his life at any point. Jackson also refused to confirm or deny the witness accounts that Feast was shot in the back while running away.

Jackson did say police body camera video exists.

"Eventually, yes, the body camera video will be released, but it's part of the investigation and it's not going to be released at this point," Jackson said.

"This is a sad day in our city. It's a tragedy any time any life is lost unexpectedly," said Bell. "Certainly, it's a tragedy for the family, for this young man. I know this young man. I knew this young man. He went to one of my childcare facilities so I have intimate knowledge of his family."

About 18 minutes into the press conference, things got heated when Eyewitness News asked Jackson why police refused to release information about the officer's race, pointing out the fact that Jackson started the press conference describing Feast as "an African American male."

"It's, uh, honestly a very important subject in our community at this point," Jackson answered, still refusing to answer the question.

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