Fort Worth

Diverse crowd holds candlelight vigil for man shot by Fort Worth police

A group of blacks and whites and babies came to the place where a 20-year-old father of one was killed by Fort Worth police on Sunday.

They met Wednesday to light a candle and tell fond stories of JaQuavion Slaton, who they said was likely hiding from police in a truck when he was shot.

Some expressed anger at the city’s inability or unwillingness to produce police footage of the shooting and called for unity in the drive to force officials to be more transparent about the events that resulted in Slaton’s death.

African-Americans in Fort Worth and nationwide are fighting on two fronts, said Linda Wheatfall, the mother of Slaton’s girlfriend.

“Our sons need to stop dying in the streets,” Wheatfall said. “Young black men are killing each other and the police are killing young black men.”

Slaton’s shooting has sparked protests and impassioned pleas for police to release the shooting footage. Slaton was the fourth man Fort Worth police have shot at since June 1.

Those who attended a prayer vigil for JaQuavion Slaton, who was killed by Fort Worth police officers Sunday, received a picture of the 20-year-old from happier times. Mitch Mitchell

Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks told the crowd that they had to bring about the change they wanted to see in the world.

“God gave us this community,” Brooks said. “He gave it to us as a sacred trust. That we should protect it, that we should prosper it, that we should take care of all who are a part of this community. That’s what community does.”

Police reported that Slaton had a gun and may have fired at officers. A police spokesman Tuesday said the department currently has no plans to release body camera footage, though Councilwoman Gyna Bivens has called for it to be made public.

The Fort Worth Police Department will brief reporters Thursday and provide a timeline of the events that took place during Sunday’s shooting.

Police have previously reported that officers were called out to a disturbance involving a suspect with a felony warrant in the 4500 block of Jennifer Court about 4 p.m. Sunday and Slaton fled, according to a statement from police.

Officers later saw Slaton in a car with two other people. Raya Arzu, the mother of Slaton’s 4-month-old son, was driving. Slaton and 17-year-old Jevon Monroe ran from the car as police approached.

Officers then saw Slaton holding a handgun as they gave chase, police said. Police found Monroe hiding under a truck near 5200 E. Berry St. and he was arrested. Monroe was in the Tarrant County jail on Wednesday facing an evading arrest charge. Bond was set at $750.

Police found Slaton inside the truck parked in a back yard. Slaton did not obey police commands and as officers tried to break the glass of the truck, he “made an overt action placing the officers in fear for their lives,” according to the statement.

Three officers shot at Slaton, police said. Slaton died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:13 p.m., according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Crime scene investigators found a handgun inside the truck, and evidence supports that Slaton fired the gun, police have said.

Slaton was the second person killed by Fort Worth police this month. Two other people, one who was taken to a hospital for treatment, have been fired upon by police in June.

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. The officer first tried to use a taser, but the suspect pulled out the wires, police 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.

This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives

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