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Hardeman Deputy cleared by grand jury in shooting

A Hardeman County Deputy Sheriff was cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a Quanah man that happened earlier this year, on March 9.
According to District Attorney Staley Heatly, on that date a Hardeman County Deputy responded to a Quanah residence a little after 9:15am following a 911 call about a suicidal man with a knife.
When the deputy arrived he found the residence to be empty. He eventually learned that the man was in an open grassy area behind the alleyway on the backside of the home.
The deputy located the man who was sitting on the ground with a large boning knife in his hand. The man had already stabbed himself in the abdomen three times by the time the deputy had arrived.
When the man saw the deputy, he stood up and started walking towards the deputy with the knife in his hand. The deputy gave the man commands to put down the knife on several occasions.
The man continued to walk toward the deputy urging the officer to shoot him. The deputy told the man several times that he did not want to shoot him, and ordered him to put the knife down.
As the man walked toward the deputy with the knife, the deputy backed toward the home where had received the call. The man picked up his pace getting closer to the deputy, urging the deputy to shoot him, and telling the deputy that he had a knife.
As the deputy backed into the yard of a nearby residence he discharged his weapon at the man striking him in the chest multiple times when the man was about fifteen feet away.
The incident was recorded on the deputy’s body worn camera and also witnessed by a neighbor. Evidence at the scene showed that the deputy backed up over 30 yards as he pleaded with the man to drop the knife.
Hardeman County Sheriff Pat Laughery notified the Texas Rangers of the shooting immediately after the incident. It is customary for smaller law enforcement agencies to bring in the Texas Rangers to investigate officer involved shootings to ensure that the matter is reviewed by an independent law enforcement agency.
Heatly said that all officer involved shootings are reviewed by a grand jury as a matter of course. “The evidence in this incident was clear,” noted Heatly. “The individual was coming directly at the deputy with a knife and refusing to obey commands. The deputy was left with no choice but to defend himself.”

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