A police officer in Texas City, Texas, was reportedly harassed heckled and had objects thrown at him by a crowd after fatally shooting a man who pointed a gun at him.
According to reports, the officer responded to a call at H.T.’s Lounge in the early morning hours on Friday and allegedly witnessed the suspect firing at people leaving the bar following a fight that spilled out into the parking lot. The responding officer says that the suspect suddenly turned towards him with the gun pointed, and that’s when he was forced to open fire.
The suspect, 20-year-old Carlton Smith, was fatally shot when the officer opened fire on him. According to The Blaze, later on, a large group of bystanders reacted by throwing bottles and other objects at police.
Now, despite police claims that Smith pointed his gun at the officer, prompting the officer to open fire, the 20-year-old’s family and community members believes he was killed unjustly.
“This brother was assassinated,” King Yashua , co-founder of the Nation of Liberation, said to the Houston Chronicle. “It’s just like Ferguson.”
The Texas City Police Department, however, maintains that Smith pointed his gun at the officer.
“The decision was to turn towards the officer and point his handgun at the officer,” Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said. “The officer then fired his weapon, striking the deceased.”
The Blaze notes that the bar's owner, Harris Aldridge, reviewed the security tapes and confirmed the police's account of how the shooting went down.
An autopsy has been scheduled, and it will provide a clear picture of how Smith was shot.