More than a year after fatally shooting a woman who had schizophrenia a police officer in Baytown, Texas is being indicted on charges of aggravated assault.
Officer Juan Delacruz shot and killed Pamela Shantay Turner in May 2019 after initially trying to arrest her because she had outstanding warrants.
According to police, Delacruz saw Turner as he was patrolling an apartment complex in the area. The officer attempted to arrest Turner for her outstanding warrants and she resisted.
Cell phone video recorded by someone near-by shows the encounter. In the video, Turner can be heard yelling to the officer, “I’m walking! I’m actually walking to my house!” She accuses Delacruz of harassing her as he tries to handcuff her. She breaks free of his grip and Delacruz shoots her with his Taser.
Turner falls to the ground and a scuffle ensues. She can be heard yelling, “Why?” and “I’m pregnant!”
As Delacruz tries to her restrain and handcuff her, Turner appears to reach her arm towards him. The officer then steps back and fires five rounds at Turner.
Police later claim that Turner “was able to gain control of the Taser and used it on the officer.”
Delacruz attempted to administer first aid, police said, but Turner was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police spokesman, said last May that Turner was not pregnant.
The investigation into the shooting was led by the Texas Rangers, who turned their findings over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for review.
The DA then presented the findings to a grand jury, which returned with the indictment, a news release from the Baytown police said.
“We have faith and trust in our judicial system, and as we wait for this case to proceed through the legal process, we ask that our community continue to be patient and have trust and faith in those processes,” the police department said. “We also ask that our community continue to have faith and trust in the Baytown Police Department and the dedicated, professional men and women who are committed to serving all members of our community with integrity, compassion and professionalism.”
Delacruz is an 11-year veteran of the department, Baytown police said. He is still employed, but he has been placed on non-enforcement status, said Lt. Steve Dorris, a Baytown police spokesman. Non-enforcement status means Delacruz is not working the streets and his police powers have been suspended.
Turner had schizophrenia, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Turner’s family.