Fort Worth police statement on fatal shooting of suspect by officer
The four shootings by Fort Worth police officers in June are expected to be discussed during a community meeting on Monday and at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Monday’s Police Oversight Townhall had already been planned by the Tarrant County Coalition for Community Oversight before Sunday afternoon’s shooting of a 20-year-old man.
But after Sunday’s shooting, United Fort Worth asked residents to join the meeting to “share your thoughts about the need for transparency and accountability of FWPD.”
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lou’s Place on the Texas Wesleyan Campus, 1112 Wesleyan St.
“We will be hosting a conversation about the possible creation of a community police oversight board, and we will be listening to your questions, concerns and personal stories when it comes to fair and equitable policing in Fort Worth,” the group said.
As police investigated Sunday’s shooting, hundreds of people gathered at the scene to protest throughout the evening.
One man was urging people in the crowd to attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting to demand transparency from police and ask the department to release body camera video of the shooting.
“The reason people are out here is because there’s no trust,” said pastor Michael Bell, a leader at the protest. “If there was trust, then we could believe what the police say.
District 5 City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens spoke to people in the crowd and promised there would be a thorough investigation.
The 20-year-old man who was killed on Sunday, whose name has not been released, was a suspect in an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case, police said.
The incident began about 4 p.m. when officers were looking for the wanted man and saw him getting into a car with two other people, according to Sgt. Chris Daniels, a Fort Worth Police Department public information officer.
Officers tried to stop the car, but the three people ran and officers chased them, Daniels said.
Officers caught two of the people and took them into custody, he said.
The third man, who police said was the assault suspect, hid in a truck in the 5200 block of East Berry.
When officers tried to get him out of the truck, he was “non-compliant” and shots were fired, Daniels said.
Daniels said on Sunday that he couldn’t comment on how many officers fired shots or how many officers were present at the time of the shooting.
However, a video of the shooting that was posted to Facebook provided some more details.
The video, which was taken by a resident across the street, shows at least five officers surrounding a white truck. About 10 gunshots are heard.
The man who was killed had a handgun, police said, but Daniels didn’t say whether he fired it.
Other shootings by police officers
▪ On June 1, a SWAT officer fatally shot a man who police say had barricaded himself in his father’s house on Sixth Avenue after he pointed a rifle at officers. Cody Seals, 38, was shot when he came back out of the house holding an object in a “shooting stance,” police said. Police later determined the object was a flashlight.
▪ On June 5, a Fort Worth police officer shot a burglary suspect he had been trying to handcuff when the man charged at the officer in the front yard of a house on the city’s south side, the police department said. Esteban Vasquez, 27, was shot in the upper torso and was in critical condition at a hospital, police said.
▪ Also on June 5, an officer shot at murder suspect Martin Charles Wilson while trying to arrest him in the killing of his uncle James Wilson Sr. Martin Wilson was holding a cellphone while running toward officers but was pretending it was a gun because his cousin was shooting at him, police said. The murder victim’s son was the other person who shot at Martin Wilson, police said. No one was injured, and both Martin Wilson and James Wilson Jr. were arrested, police said.
The police department’s standard procedure is for officers involved in shootings to be placed on administrative leave. Fort Worth Police Major Case detectives and the Internal Affairs unit investigate such shootings and submit their findings to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for review once the investigation is complete.