A Forest Hill police officer shot and killed a murder suspect in June who posed no threat and was as far as 20 feet away at the bottom of a steep embankment, according to an investigation by Texas Rangers.
The officer, 23-year-old Logan Barr, was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant, booked into the Tarrant County jail and released on bond about nine hours later.
The arrest on July 28 was not previously announced by Texas Rangers, Forest Hill police or the Tarrant County District Attorney and was revealed in a search of court records by NBC 5.
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Texas Ranger Eisenhower Upshaw viewed an officer’s body camera video of the incident and gave the following account of what happened in Barr’s arrest warrant.
On June 9, at about 5:30 a.m., police responded to a report of a woman who was stabbed and later died in the Quik Trip parking lot at 6549 Wichita Street.
The suspect, 32-year-old Michael Lee Ross Jr., was found just north of the store in a creek at the bottom of an embankment.
Ross was holding a knife and refused orders to drop it.
A sergeant fired several shots from a less-than-lethal shotgun at Ross but he continued holding the knife. The sergeant asked Barr to also get his less-than-lethal shotgun.
Barr retrieved his regular shotgun instead.
“Shotgun deployed,” Barr said on the radio.
“Shoot him,” the sergeant told Barr.
Ross was “still unsteady on his feet, with his pants down around his thighs, turning and walking away from the officers’ position,” the Ranger wrote, describing the body-cam video.
About 16 seconds later, Ross turned back around and faced the officers but was still 15-20 feet down a muddy embankment with his hands at his sides.
Barr fired two shots in “quick succession" and Ross collapsed to the ground.
After the incident, Forest Hill police said Ross was shot after he turned toward officers while holding the knife and had tried to harm himself with the knife.
But the Ranger disputed the department’s version of events.
“While watching the video, I did not observe Ross attempting to stab himself, make any verbal threats, raise the knife in a threatening manner toward the officers, attempt to climb the embankment … or make an effort to run,” the Ranger wrote. “Ross did not pose a reasonable and immediate threat.”
Barr could not be reached for comment and an attorney was not listed for him in court files.