A police officer in Texas City, Texas, fatally shot a gun-wielding suspect after he allegedly pointed a gun at the officer outside a bar. Reacting to the shooting, some of the more than 100 bystanders who flooded the scene allegedly threw bottles and other objects at police officers, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The officer involved in the shooting responded to a call from the manager of H.T.’s Lounge in Texas City at around 1 a.m. early Friday, and when he arrived on the scene, he reportedly witnessed the suspect firing a handgun at people leaving the front door of the bar.
At one point, the officer said the suspect pointed his gun at him, forcing him to open fire.
The bar’s owner, Harris Aldridge, reportedly reviewed surveillance footage of the incident and confirmed the suspect moved toward the cop with a firearm. Family members have apparently identified the deceased man as 20-year-old Carlton Smith.
"The decision was to turn towards the officer and point his handgun at the officer," Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said, according to KTRK-TV. "The officer then fired his weapon, striking the deceased."
However, the Chronicle reports some of the bystanders allegedly hurled bottles and other objects at the police as they worked the scene of the officer-involved shooting, according to the accounts of officers.
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Critics quickly compared the shooting to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, and offered conflicting testimony.
"This brother was assassinated," King Yashua , minister of defense and co-founder of the Nation of Liberation, told the Houston Chronicle. "It's just like Ferguson."
Texas City police spokesman Sgt. Joe Stanton called on the community for an “opportunity to get to the truth.” Stranton also said there were no reported injuries as a result of the alleged bottle and rock throwing.
Though tensions are high across the nation due to other police killings, the shooting fatality is the first by a police officer in Texas City in more than a decade.