Killeen Police Release Account of Officer Involved Shooting
Last Tuesday night (Feb. 18), a traffic stop in Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Killeen escalated into an officer involved shooting. Killeen police have released a lengthy statement telling their side of the story in more detail.
According to Killeen PD, the driver, identified as Paris Lamar Hunter, was stopped at approximately 10:15 PM for an obscured license plate. Officer Devonte Johnson - a 3-year veteran of the department - reportedly approached the car and noticed furtive movements from Hunter and his passenger, Morgan Alexandria Cleveland.
According to Officer Johnson, Hunter attempted to open the driver's side door as Johnson approached it. Johnson then closed the door and explained the reason why he'd stopped Hunter. Johnson reports having smelled marijuana, after which he repeatedly asked Hunter and Cleveland to keep their hands where he could see them. When they did not do as he asked, Johnson asked Hunter to put his hands on the steering wheel and turn off the vehicle and Cleveland to place her hands on the dash.
Johnson reports that Hunter once again attempted to open the driver's door, after which Johnson again closed the door and asked the pair to place their hands where he could see them.
Johnson radioed for backup. As a backup unit approached with sirens and lights activated, Hunter reportedly lunged through the driver's side window towards Johnson. The officer backed away and fired a shot, striking Hunter once in the upper left shoulder.
EMS service was requested, and first aid was rendered until an ambulance arrived to transport Hunter to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple. According to police, a baggie filled with a substance believed to be cocaine was extracted from Hunter's buttocks while he was undergoing treatment. Police say a handgun and substances believed to be crack cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana were found in the vehicle, as well as a handgun.
On Thursday, February 20, the Bell County District Attorney's Office charged Hunter with with possession of a controlled substance over 4 grams, under 200 grams..
Cleveland was arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Harris County for prostitution, failure to identify as a fugitive, and possession of marijuana under 2 oz.
Officer Johnson remains on administrative leave as the Texas Rangers and KPD conduct an investigation of the events that led to the shooting.
Meanwhile, Hunter's family disputes KPD's account of what happened. Last week, they told our partners at News 10 they believe he was shot in the back while complying with the officer's commands. Hunter's mother said she would not accept that her son resisted any way until she'd seen body cam footage.