A Texas police officer who fatally shot a U.S. Army veteran who had allegedly stabbed a woman at a gas station before fleeing into a nearby creek is now facing criminal charges for not using less lethal force.
Forest Hill Officer Logan Barr, 23, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant following an investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety into the shooting death of 32-year-old Michael Ross on June 9, Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth reported.
Ross, a U.S. Army veteran, was suspected of having repeatedly stabbed a woman, 34-year-old Kiyana Hall, outside a QT gas station near Interstate 20 and Wichita Street in the suburb outside of Fort Worth. Hall died from her wounds.
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Investigators believe Ross fled with a knife still in hand to a nearby creek, where he was found by two responding officers. Body camera footage reviewed by Texas Rangers showed Ross pacing back and forth in the creek when Barr and his partner ordered him to freeze and drop the knife. Ross did not comply with their commands, so the officers deployed a less lethal shotgun.
"The first shot appeared to cause Ross to become unsteady on his feet and Ross became more unsteady with each shot," according the affidavit obtained by the station. "On the fourth shot, Ross fell backwards into the water. Ross returned to his feet, still holding the knife."
Barr’s partner attempted to fire another round with his less lethal shotgun but realizes it’s empty. He can be heard on the body-camera footage telling Barr, "Go get your shotgun" and "Get your shotgun."
"Go get your shotgun, less-lethal shotgun," the officer adds.
But Barr returned with a regular shot gun and fired two quick shots at Ross, who Texas Ranger determined had his hands down by his side and was at the bottom of a steep, muddy embankment about 15 to 20 feet away from where the office was standing at the time. The other officer also used his own regular shot gun to shoot and kill Ross’ barking dog during the incident.
"Ross did not pose a reasonable and immediate threat of death or bodily injury to officers or others when he was shot," the affidavit states.
Ross’ mother, Regina Syas, told Fox 4 that her son was suffering from mental illness before he was shot dead in a drainage culvert. She said she still has not been shown the footage of the incident.
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"We need to stand up and fight for him as he fought for his country," Syas said. "I need the officer that shot my son, I need him prosecuted. I need it brought to trial and not pushed under the rug."
The local district attorney’s office said Wednesday it had not yet received the case against Barr but believed it would likely go before a grand jury in the near future.