Chief addresses HPD shooting that killed gospel singer

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Chief addresses HPD shooting that killed gospel singer
The driver, Adrian Medearis, was fatally shot after getting into a struggle over a Taser with an officer during a traffic stop.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Chief Art Acevedo is publicly addressing a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened when a gospel singer fought with an HPD officer during a traffic stop.

The chief says the entire deadly interaction was captured on video, both by bodycam footage and a camera in the officer's patrol car.

The shooting happened just off the North Freeway in a parking lot on Esplanade last Friday at around 1 a.m.

According to police, the officer pulled 48-year-old Adrian Medearis over for going more than 90 mph.

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 Medearis was possibly drunk. The officer then tried to arrest him, and that's when a struggle broke out.

Chief Acevedo says the struggle continued to the front of Medearis's car, where the officer pinned him to the ground. As the officer attempted to handcuff him, he flipped the officer off of him.

HPD says during the altercation, the officer pulled out his Taser and fired it, but at some point Medearis was able to get the Taser in his hands. Police say the Taser was ineffective because of the close range.

That's when the officer fired four rounds. Police say Medearis was hit 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."

Medearis was transported to the hospital where he later died.

As a gospel singer and musician, Medearis was very well known in the Houston faith community.

Family members and friends told ABC13 the events and allegations described by police don't sound like Madearis at all. Loved ones say he wasn't violent and always respected authority.

Statement from the family on the death of Adrian Medearis:

"We are heartbroken to confirm the death of our beloved Adrian Medearis. Our family and close community of friends have merely begun to process this tragic loss. Your calls, texts, social media posts, and offers of condolences are appreciated as we process the loss of a beloved brother, grandson, nephew and friend."

Police say the officer's body cam and dash cam were recording during the incident. Family members of Medearis are adamant in seeing it.

The video above is from a previous story.