Dallas County ME Contradicts Shooting Rumor

ME will release detailed autopsy only after all analysis done

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas police say Dixon Circle, where James Harper was shot by a police officer, is among the most notorious neighborhoods for crime and violence in Dallas, a problem that's been around for a decade.

    The director of the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office, Jeffrey Barnard, says they have released no information regarding the gunshot wounds to James Harper, despite some reports to the contrary.

    "It has come to my attention that there have been rumors suggesting that the OME has released information that Mr. Harper received gunshot wounds to his back.  No public information has been released by this office regarding Mr. Harper's wounds," said Barnard in a statement.

    Harper, 31, was shot and killed by Dallas police officer Brian Rowden during a physical altercation following a foot chase, police said.

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    Since the incident, some witnesses have said Harper was shot in the back.  Chief David Brown said Harper was shot in the stomach.

    According to the Dallas County medical examiner's preliminary report, Harper died of a gunshot wound, but they have not specified where Harper was shot.

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    In Thursday's statement, Barnard said detailed information about the gunshot wounds will only be released when all of the analysis is done.

    "As is the custom and practice of this office, the information will be formally released by completion of the autopsy report. Partial information is detrimental to the public, the Harper family and the police department, and leads to inaccurate interpretations," said Barnard in a statement.

    Some local pastors and civil rights leaders are questioning Rowden's use of force. Brown said police would conduct a thorough investigation into the shooting. The district attorney and a grand jury will review the case to decide if the shooting was justified.