Texas Rangers to take over deadly Baytown officer-involved shooting investigation

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Community pays tribute to woman killed during officer-involved shooting
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Community pays tribute to woman killed during officer-involved shooting

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Rangers will take over the investigation into an officer-involved shooting that killed a woman in Baytown.

The news comes hours after Trae Tha Truth and other community leaders called for a community rally to protest the deadly shooting.

Trae asked for community members to meet him at the Walmart on EastFreeway and Uvalde at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The rapper spoke out about the incident on social media, calling the shooting unjust and saying that he does not agree with the officer's actions.

The Baytown Police Department released the following statement:

For the past several days the Baytown Police Department, along with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, has been conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the death of 44-year-old Pamela Turner.
While Chief Dougherty has full faith and confidence in his investigators, he has also heard and understands the public demands for transparency. He wants the family of Ms. Turner and the community to have the same faith and confidence in their police department, and the officers who work hard every day to keep our community safe. As such, Chief Dougherty asked the Texas Department of Public Safety's Texas Ranger Division to conduct the investigation moving forward. The evidence and information that has been collected, up to this point, has been turned over to the Rangers for their review. Chief Dougherty wants to thank the community for remaining peaceful during their expressions of concern over the past several days. He also asks the public to please keep in mind these investigations take time to bear out all the facts and be fully completed. He asks for the public's patience while that process takes place. The Baytown Police Department Internal Affairs Division will continue with their internal review of the incident.

The deadly officer-involved shooting happened at The Brixton apartment complex in the 1600 block of Garth Road.

According to police, the officer, an 11-year veteran with the Baytown Police Department, was on patrol when he came across 44-year-old Pamela Turner, whom he'd dealt with before and knew had outstanding warrants.

The officer contacted Turner and tried to arrest her, but she struggled with him, forcing him to use his Taser on her, Baytown PD Lt. Steve Dorris said.

As he tried to handcuff her, she allegedly grabbed his Taser and used it on him.

Lt. Dorris says that's when the officer was forced to pull out his gun and fire multiple times at Turner, hitting her at least once.

The officer tried to render aid immediately after the shooting. She died at the scene.

Someone posted video on Snapchat of the moment the Taser was used on Turner and when she was shot. Police are now hoping to talk to that person and any other witnesses.

"You're actually harassing me," Turner can be heard saying in the video as the Taser is used.

Neighbors say they believe she struggled with mental illness.

"She wasn't mentally competent. We always tried to look after her. She would walk outside at all hours of the night. I would tell the office management she should not be left alone," one woman said.

"If you know she has mental illness, why not ask for backup first before you try and detain her?" said neighbor James Edison. "He got up and she was barely getting up off the ground and he shot her like a dog. That's wrong. And he needs to pay for it."

The Harris County District Attorney's Office is also part of the shooting investigation, which is standard procedure in incidents like this.

The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is also standard protocol. His identity was not immediately released.

The officer was also injured by the Taser, but the extent of his injuries are unknown.

The officer was wearing a body camera, which may shed more light on what happened.

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