BAYTOWN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A medical examiner has ruled the fatal shooting of a 44-year-old Houston-area woman by a police officer a homicide.
Online records show the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office found Pamela Turner’s death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds.
Baytown police have said one of their officers opened fire on Turner Monday night after she shocked him with his own Taser.
A department spokesman did not respond to questions Wednesday.
A video of the incident shows Turner and the officer struggling after he tries to arrest her.
Something flashes as they grapple on the ground, and the officer can be seen to pull back and fire five shots.
The medical examiner’s finding doesn’t indicate a crime was committed. Police and the Harris County District Attorney are still investigating the shooting.
Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal Police Association issued a statement on the officer-involved shooting on Wednesday afternoon:
“Most importantly, to begin, the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) sincerely offers the family and loved ones of the officer involved and Pamela Turner our deepest condolences. Every one impacted by this tragic event are in the thoughts and prayers of our association.
While there has been a media firestorm over the last twenty-four hours surrounding what happened in Baytown, Texas, TMPA is disheartened to see several crucial details consistently absent from the media’s coverage or not given appropriate weight. The completely irresponsible news coverage that has occurred has led to civil unrest, which has significant consequences for our communities’ public safety, and the relationship between law enforcement and the people of Texas.
First, Texas police officers do not have discretion on effecting arrests for individuals they know have outstanding warrants. The officer in this incident, an 11-year veteran of the Baytown department, was familiar with Ms. Turner and had knowledge of warrants for her arrest on previous offenses, and he followed his duty under Texas state law. In short, the interaction between the officer and Ms. Turner was lawful and unavoidable.
Second, the media has repeatedly claimed that Ms. Turner was not armed. After she initiated a struggle by resisting the lawful arrest of the officer, he deployed his taser. Ms. Turner then successfully wrestled his taser away from him and began to use it against him. At this point, Ms. Turner has committed a felony offense (disarming a police officer) and was now armed herself.
Any officer-involved shooting is a tragedy. TMPA and its members deeply recognize the importance of the relationship between law enforcement and the great people of our state and these incidents are serious and demand serious reflection and investigation. The state and national press, however, have done all of Texas law enforcement a disservice in their portrayal of events thus far and our members, as well as all officers in Texas, deserve better.
TMPA asks everyone to allow the established process for thoroughly investigating these tragic events to unfold and to respect the families of all those involved during this extremely difficult time.”