A Texas police officer fatally shot a black woman who grabbed his Taser and used it against him, moments after the woman appears to say “I’m pregnant” in an altercation captured on video.
Pamela Turner was shot late on Monday at an apartment complex in Baytown, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) east of Houston, and pronounced dead at the scene, said Lieutenant Steve Dorris.
Baytown Police Lieutenant Dorris said the officer was patrolling the complex and tried to arrest the 44-year-old African American woman because he knew she had outstanding warrants. The officer, who is Hispanic and an 11-year veteran of the Police Department, had previous dealings with Turner, but Dorris did not provide further details about the interactions or Turner’s warrants.
Dorris says the officer opened fire after the woman grabbed the officer’s Taser and used it against him.
In the video posted on Snapchat, a woman is heard saying “You’re actually harassing me” and “I’m actually walking to my house” before falling to the ground.
She is also heard screaming, “I’m pregnant”. The woman, who is on the ground, appeared to reach towards the officer, and then he fired five shots.
Dorris said they could not confirm whether she was pregnant and that an autopsy will determine that. He said the officer was not seriously hurt.
“It was a sad situation. Tragic. The lady … she did live here. We would often see her, see her walk her dog around,” resident Raquelle Cuellar told local television news channel KTRK-TV Houston.
The officer, who has not been named, was placed on paid administrative leave, Dorris said, adding that this is standard protocol. He was wearing a bodycam, and an investigation is under way.
“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 told KTRK-TV Houston. “We never want things to get to this.”
Dorris said police were aware of the video circulating on social media and that investigators want to talk to the person who took the video, because he or she was a witness to the shooting.