Last Wednesday a Hardeman County Grand Jury determined that a Hardeman County Deputy Sheriff’s use of force was justified in a shooting that occurred in Chillicothe on August 4, 2019.
On that date, the Vernon Record reported that Chillicothe police responded to a report of an aggravated assault at a residence on 7th Street in Chillicothe. The victim reported to police that her grandson, Randall Shane Stidham, had come to her home looking for another person. She did not want to let Stidham in the house due to prior threats that he had made against her so she refused to open the screen door.
When the victim turned away for a brief moment, Stidham opened the door and lunged at her with a knife. The knife blade fell from the handle when it touched the skin of the victim and she was uninjured. The victim then contacted Chillicothe police who responded to the scene. At the same time, a Hardeman County deputy began looking for Stidham, locating him at a residence on 3rd Street. When the deputy got out of the car he observed Stidham standing behind a pillar on the front porch of the residence holding what appeared to be a pistol in his right hand. The deputy immediately ordered Stidham to put the weapon down and radioed for assistance.
Stidham continued pointing the pistol directly at the officer as he stepped off the porch of the residence. The deputy discharged his weapon striking Stidham three times. After the shooting, the deputy immediately began providing medical assistance to Stidham using a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Stidham was later taken by care flight to Lubbock where he was treated for the gunshot wounds and made a full recovery.
After the shooting, investigators discovered that the weapon held by Stidham was not a real firearm, but instead was a BB gun designed to look like a Glock style pistol. In an interview at the hospital, Stidham told a Texas Ranger that he pointed the gun at the officer and that he wanted to be shot and that he wanted to die.
Earlier this week, Stidham pled guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by threat of his grandmother and received a three-year prison sentence. He also pleaded guilty to terroristic threat of a public servant and was sentenced to 18 months in state jail for pointing the BB gun at the deputy and placing him in fear of his life. The sentences will run concurrently.