Sheriff's Deputy Uses Deadly Force - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/15/08

Sheriff's Deputy Uses Deadly Force

A Lubbock Sheriff's Deputy says he had to shoot when a suspect pointed a gun at him overnight. At last report, the victim was in critical condition at UMC. Now, the Texas Rangers are looking into this shooting.

Aside from training, the last time a Sheriff's Deputy had to use their gun in a real life situation was five years ago. And Lubbock Sheriff Deputy Chief Paul Scarborough says in this case, the deputy followed his training to a "T".

"In my mind the officer responded correctly based on the information that I have," Scarborough said.

Deputies were called to a home near county road 7220 and Avenue P around midnight.

"He had a long rifle in his hands. He fired a round in the air and went back into the house. He then came out and fired a round at one of the deputies," said Scarborough.

NewsChannel 11 was on the scene just moments after the shooting happened. The individual was taken from the scene in AeroCare to UMC.

"When an individual threatens an officer or another person with deadly force, the officer is expected to deal with that in that fashion," Scarborough said.

He adds the Sheriff's Department is lucky. It's not often they need to use deadly force to apprehend someone, but the potential exists more often than you might expect - especially at domestic disturbances.

"The emotions are running high and that's where a law enforcement officer really falls back on his training," Scarborough said.

After firing a weapon, a deputy is put on administrative leave to regroup and rest after the trauma of having to shoot another person. They'll also undergo counseling with a special DPS team who specializes in helping law enforcement officers deal with this stress.

"In their own mind a lot of times they think they're OK. The teams are able to all the officers involved and bring out some things. It helps the officer deal with it emotionally and psychologically. We're thankful it turned out as it did," Scarborough added.

Scarborough says the man who fired on the deputies could face the charge of attempted capital murder of a public servant. But this investigation is in the hands of the Texas Rangers and they'll decide what charges to file after their investigation.

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