A Forest Hill police officer has been taken into custody after shooting and killing a man holding a knife and standing almost 20 feet away. It was determined that the armed suspect posed no threat to the officer, as reported by The Star Telegram.
What are the details?
An arrest warrant obtained by the news outlet on Wednesday shed some light on the shooting death of 32-year-old Michael Lee Ross Jr. on June 9. On the morning of that day Forest Hill Officer Logan Barr, 23, targeted the suspect with his gun and fired twice toward the man.
Texas Ranger Eisenhower Upshaw determined that the armed man was no threat to the officer and was 20 feet away from the officers when he was located in a creek, as the news outlet points out.
The account given in the warrant of the whole incident is based on body camera footage. Forest Hill police responded to a call reporting a stabbing on June 9. The incident had taken place in a Quik Trip parking lot at 6549 Wichita St. When the officers got to the scene, they found a woman with multiple stab wounds. The victim was taken to a hospital, but later died because of the injuries.
Ross was identified as the suspect in the attack and officers discovered him hiding out in a creek north of the Quik Trip. In the video footage Barr and another officer are heard telling the man to drop the knife. They are also seen pointing handguns at him.
At one point the sergeant went to his car to get a “less lethal” shotgun. The sergeant then fired four beanbag shots at the suspect, knocking him into the water, as stated in the warrant. Ross stood up again, but soon collapsed against a concrete block.
“Go get your shotgun, less lethal shotgun,” the sergeant then shouted at Barr, who is seen going to the car and getting a black shotgun.
“Shoot him,” the sergeant told Barr, according to the warrant. It is also mentioned that Ross was unsteady on his feet, and he turned back to face the officers when Barr fired two shots at him. He fell to the ground after that. When he got closer to Ross the sergeant also shot at the man’s barking dog and kept yelling at Ross to drop his knife.
The outlet emphasizes that in a news release a few hours after the incident authorities stated that the suspect had tried to harm himself and then had turned toward an officer while holding a knife.
However, the Texas Ranger says in the warrant that in the footage there is no evidence of Ross trying to stab himself and that he didn’t make any verbal threats or even raise his knife toward the officers or try to climb the embankment to get to them. He also did not try to run away. The suspect was shot and killed while facing Barr and the sergeant. He had both hands down by his side, with the knife in his right hand, 15 to 20 feet away from them.
“Ross did not pose a reasonable and immediate threat of death or bodily injury to the officers or others when he was shot,” Upshaw concluded in the warrant.