A Texas police officer fatally shot a grandmother of three just moments after she shouted “I’m pregnant.”
The dramatic exchange that lead to 44-year-old Pamela Turner’s death was captured on video as a Baytown Police officer tried to arrest her for outstanding warrants outside her apartment complex around 10:40 p.m. Monday night.
Baytown Police said the officer recognized Turner from “prior dealings” and was aware she had outstanding warrants for her arrest, but as the officer tried to detain her, Turner began to struggle leading to the fatal confrontation, according to KPRC-TV.
“During the course of the attempted arrest, the female began struggling with the officer, which forced the officer to deploy his Taser,” Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris said, according to the station. “That deployment was not effective, and the female was able to get the officer's Taser away from him. (She) actually tased the officer, which forced the officer to draw his duty weapon and fire multiple rounds at the suspect."
“Our officer was tased, and you have to understand what a Taser is. It's a weapon designed to incapacitate people. The question is: 'Was the officer in fear for his life?' I think a logical person would say yes,” Dorris added.
Just moments before the officer is seen firing a series of shots into Turner, at least one of which struck her face, she can be heard on the video screaming “why?” and telling the officer “I’m pregnant.”
Police later said that Turner was not pregnant at the time of her death, local station KTRK reports.
“It’s a tragic event for everyone involved. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased. We want to get all the questions answered that we can,” Dorris said. “We never want things to get to this.”
The mother of two, who also had three grandchildren, was pronounced dead at the scene. Turner did have three outstanding warrants at the time of her death. Two for criminal mischief and one for assault resulting in bodily injury.
Neighbors at the apartment complex said they believed Turner suffered from mental health issues and said she was often seen outside walking her dog.
"If you know she has mental illness, why not ask for backup first before you try and detain her?" neighbor James Edison told KTRK. "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."
Her sister Antoinette told KPRC-TV she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was taking medication for it. She also said the officer who shot her was a neighbor and her sister had complained of that same officer harassing her in the past.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the shooting, as is standard procedure in these type of incidents.
The officer involved, who is an 11-year veteran of the department, will be placed on three days administrative leave while the investigation is underway as part of the department’s regular policy, according to The Baytown Sun.
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