Police: Officer Fired 41 Times at Fatally Shot Chase Suspect

Officer faces internal affairs, criminal investigations in shooting

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Mesquite and Garland police are investigating a Garland police officer who shot and killed a man after a high-speed chase. (Published Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012)

    Two separate investigations are looking at the actions of a Garland police officer during a police chase that ended with the shooting death of a suspect last month.

    Garland police said Tuesday that the officer, Patrick Tuter, fired at Michael Vincent Allen 41 times. There is no evidence that Allen ever tried to assault the officer or returned fire, police said.

    Allen, 25, of Wylie, was shot and killed Aug. 31 after a high-speed chase that began in Garland and ended in Mesquite. He was wanted on suspicion of eluding police in Sasche a few days earlier.

    At the time of the shooting, investigators said the officer shot Allen after he rammed his pickup truck into the officer's cruiser. But dashboard camera video from the officer's patrol car shows that the officer rammed into Allen's truck and fired 41 shots at Allen, reloading his weapon twice, police said Tuesday.

    "When we counted everything in the investigation, we found that our officer -- one officer -- fired at least 41 shots," Garland police spokesman Officer Joe Harn said.

    The officer has been placed on restricted duty and his service-issued weapons have been confiscated.

    Harn said the number of shots fired is a concern.

    "As we continue to go through the investigation [and] talk to everybody that was involved, something may come forward that we say, 'This is all justified,' however, this is a concern of ours," Harn said. "That's why we're putting it out, because of the number of times that we found that the officer fired."

    There is also no record of any other officers firing their weapons during the chase.

    The Mesquite Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation of the officer's actions and will turn over its findings to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office for review.

    The case could possibly go to a grand jury, which can recommend whether criminal charges in the case are warranted.

    In addition, Garland police's Internal Affairs Division is looking into whether the officer violated any police procedures during the chase and shooting.

    Harn said it is entirely possible that the officer in question did nothing wrong criminally but may have violated department policy.

    Garland police said they released the information about the chase and shooting to be transparent as the agency continues its internal probe.

    "First of all, we hope and we want the public to know that we're going to do our thing," Harn said. "We're going to do our investigation correctly. We could sit on this and try to hide it, but we're not -- we're going to do a good and complete, thorough investigation."

    Both departments' investigations are described as ongoing.