Dallas police shot and killed a man while responding to a robbery call Thursday, and police and witnesses are telling two very different stories about what happened.
The shooting occurred at what police call a suspected drug house in East Dallas, and they say things escalated quickly.[[323127441,R]]
Officers were called at about 1:30 p.m. to the 3600 block of Penelope Street, near 2nd Avenue, southeast of Fair Park for a robbery in progress. When they arrived, they also found a house at the location was on fire.
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"We've learned that since then witnesses stated that the suspect set the house on fire," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
Officers said they saw the suspected individual in the corner of a vacant lot nearby, so they approached the man to identify him, giving loud verbal commands ordering him to show his hands, according to a police press release.
A struggle ensued, during which the man threw some personal items at the officers, police said, and then the man ran from the officers, trying to get into a vehicle.
Suspect involved in the OIS is deceased.— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) August 27, 2015
"They [police] tried a Taser first, they tried live commands, they tried to subdue him [the suspect] with their hands and none of that worked," Brown said. "The Taser was ineffective and the suspect continued to struggle with officers."
One of the officers then shot the man one time, police said.
Medics transported the man to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officials identified the deceased as 42-year-old Bertrand Davis, and they said the officer who shot him was patrol officer Matthew Terry, who has served eight years and 11 months on the police force.
Eight other officers were involved in the attempt to arrest Davis, police said, and none of them have yet been interviewed about Thursday's events.
One Dead in Dallas Officer-Involved Shooting
After the shooting was confirmed to be fatal, officers were seen cordoning off an area around a four-door Mercedes SUV. Nearby, a large area of land was also blocked off with crime scene tape.
Meanwhile, neighbors and witnesses gathered in frustration, telling NBC 5 lethal force was unnecessary.
They said the man who was shot was armed with a box cutter.
"They didn't have to do that," said Paul Else, who witnessed the shooting. "They didn't have to do none of that."
The case is still under investigation, and witnesses have a lot of questions about how the situation was handled.
"As of right now you're going to have to find some way to justify what you just did," said Thomas Busby, who lives in the neighborhood.
Terry, the officer who fatally shot Davis, has been placed on routine administrative leave while the Dallas County District Attorney's Office conducts a concurrent investigation, the police department said.
Police have also notified the FBI Dallas Office of the deadly shooting.
"Preliminarily, we are looking at some pretty good police work in the way that they dealt with all of this information happening," said Brown.