Man shot and killed by HPD officer after stealing Taser during traffic stop

Jeff Ehling Image
Friday, May 8, 2020
Man shot and killed by HPD officer during traffic stop
A traffic stop turned violent after a police officer said he had no choice but to shoot a man who struggled with him over his Taser.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A North Freeway driver has died after he was shot to death Friday morning by a Houston police officer during a traffic stop.

It began when the officer pulled the 48-year-old driver over in a parking lot on Esplanade for going more than 90 mph around 1:05 a.m.

The officer says he pulled the man over for going more than 90 mph on the North Freeway, and a struggle broke out while administering a sobriety test.

The officer administered a field sobriety test and determined the man was possibly drunk. The officer then tried to arrest the man, and that's when a struggle broke out.

HPD says during the altercation, the officer pulled out his Taser and fired it, but at some point the suspect was able to get the Taser in his hands.

That's when the officer fired several rounds. Police say the suspect was shot at least twice.

"That suspect, during the struggle, was able to retrieve the officer's Taser," Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard said. "The officer, still giving verbal commands, at some time during that struggle, once the suspect had the Taser, discharged his weapon several times."

The suspect was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Police say the officer's body cam and dash cam were recording during the incident.

The District Attorney's office is investigating.

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