Sayles Shooting (Press Release)

by Police Administration, Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 01:00 (3146 days ago)

On Wednesday February 9, 2011, tragedy struck Abilene when a motorist was shot and killed by a second motorist. I am grieved by this violence, and I do not believe it characterizes the heart of our community. Since this event, many citizens have questioned the police department’s decision to not arrest the involved person. At no time has the Department considered family connections when determining whether an arrest should be made.

The Crimes Against Persons Unit is investigating all evidence associated with this offense, including the events preceding the fatal shooting. Courts have long held that police officers should consider the ‘totality of circumstances’ when making arrest decisions. It is tempting in this case, where a man was shot at 3pm on a busy south side street, to focus solely on the actual shooting. However, all aspects of this incident must be considered. Investigators obtained affidavits from 17 witnesses, and they reviewed numerous pieces of evidence. The totality of circumstances in this case, including defenses afforded by Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code, warrants closer examination. The Department has consulted with the Taylor County District Attorney’s Office since the beginning of this investigation, and ultimately an arrest may be the decision of a Grand Jury.

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