DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials with the Dallas Police Department are defending an officer’s actions after a motorist was shot in the back and killed during a traffic stop on Saturday.
DPD released a statement after the Dallas County Medical Examiner ruled the death of John Robert Husband III a homicide, from a gunshot in the back.
According to police, an officer saw Husband turn without signaling. Officer Leland Limbaugh stopped the vehicle Husband was driving, with two passengers, in Oak Cliff near West Kiest Boulevard.
Officer Limbaugh reportedly said he smelled marijuana as he approached the car and questioned if there were any weapons in the vehicle. Husband allegedly said there weren’t and was asked to step out of the car.
When Husband got out Officer Limbaugh alleges he saw the handle of a handgun in the 21-year-old’s waistband.
The officer then said he attempted to place Husband’s hands behind his back and told the man not to reach for the gun, but his commands were ignored and Husband struggled.
Officer Limbaugh reported he feared for his life after Husband freed one hand and reached for the gun in his pants, so he fired one shot. The officer’s bullet struck Husband near his left shoulder blade.
The police statement says Husband fell to the ground; Officer Limbaugh took the man’s 40-caliber handgun, placed it on the hood of the squad car and waited for backup.
When additional police officers arrived Husband was handcuffed and eventually transported to Methodist Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the handgun Husband had was reported lost to Plano police.
The two passengers in the vehicle with Husband, 22-year-old Xavier Bryant and 26-year-old Derrick Epps were questioned and released.
Officer Limbaugh, who has been with the department nearly three years, is currently on special assignment.
The DPD Special Investigations Unit the shooting. Anyone who witnesses the incident is being asked to call (214) 671-3664.
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