Congressman asks for new investigation after HCSO deputy shoots black man to death

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A family is finally getting answers after a Harris County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man who was holding a BB gun.

Joshua Johnson, 35, was keeping an eye on a neighbor's home when Deputy Tu Tran shot him to death, according to Johnson's family.

Tran was parked near the home in an unmarked vehicle, staking out another house for the Gulf Coast Task Force when he and Johnson got into an altercation.

Johnson's family said they heard the gunshots and immediately went to the scene.

When arriving, one of the family members recorded a conversation with investigators. They asked the officer why Johnson had been killed.

Sergeant Bell with the Harris County Sheriff's Office told the family that Tran saw Johnson's BB gun and shot him, even though Bell admitted that he had not spoken directly to Tran at that time.

"He had a black pistol, a BB gun," Bell said. "He came up and tapped on the deputy's window and there was some words exchanged. All the deputy sees is the pistol pointed at him."

There has been no public comment from Tran on whether Johnson was holding the BB gun or aiming it in his direction.

On Wednesday, Congressman Al Green helped coordinate a meeting with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Johnson's family.

The family asked for details on Tran's history of personnel complaints, but were not given them.

"We would ask that the press ask for information about the officer's complaint history. The sheriff did not provide us with this information," Green said. "This officer's false narrative is being repeated to the extent that it's having an adverse impact on this investigation."

ABC13 asked for Tran's personnel record as well, but were told the records department is closed due to the pandemic.

In ABC13's records, reports show Tran killed another suspect back in 2015. A grand jury chose not to indict him then.

Green is now asking for a "court of inquiry," so a district judge can take an independent look at the killing.
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