The Lubbock Police Department will turn its investigation into the death of a Lubbock teen over to the District Attorney's office...but no action will be taken until after the police investigation is complete.
Sixteen-year-old Thomas Mallory died Sunday after reportedly taking ecstasy on Friday night. A 911 call confirmed a time lapse between the time Mallory took the drug and the time the call was made. Since the death, we've had several calls surrounding the circumstances on the night Mallory was rushed to the hospital. It appears everyone has an opinion, but, of course, it is our job to report only the facts.
The media spends countless hours trying to separate fact from fiction. But until the police report is complete, we can only report what the police department confirms. To better understand the process of a death investigation, we spoke with Lubbock Police Sgt. John Gomez about what happens from start to finish.
First, when police respond to a call for a death or suspicious circumstances, they record exactly what they see at the crime scene. Next, the officer will identify as many witnesses as possible. In the meantime, an experienced investigator will be assigned to the case.
After the crime scene, investigators will continue interviewing witness and compile statements to try and reconstruct the victim's last activities that led up to the death. Next, the statements will be compared to the evidence and that's where witnesses can become potential suspects.
Police also rely on other departments like the medical examiners office to collect evidence, like the cause of death and toxicology reports. In the Mallory case, investigators are currently at stage four, trying to reconstruct the events of last Friday night, as well as continuing to interview witnesses. They're also waiting for the results of the autopsy report.
We've had several calls asking us to report the names of some of those witnesses. But in this case, those witnesses are protected since most involved are minors. In the state of Texas, minors are protected under the law, so we here at KCBD will not report names unless a minor is charged and tried as an adult.
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