A graphic video has been posted on social media showing a police officer in Baytown, Texas, shooting a woman multiple times, killing her, during an incident at an apartment complex in the Houston area city. The officer has not been named and authorities have said an investigation is underway. In the video, the woman can be heard saying that she is pregnant moments before she was shot, but Baytown Police say they have confirmed she was not pregnant.
The woman has been identified by her family as Pamela Turner, 44, KPRC-TV reports. Turner’s family told the news station that she had suffered from mental illness and was on medication for schizophrenia. She was a resident of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred. Police say Turner was shot after she grabbed the officer’s Taser during a struggle and used it on him.
The fatal shooting occurred late Monday, May 13. Homicide investigators were at the scene at the apartment complex on Garth Road where the shooting occurred early Tuesday morning, May 14.
In the video, posted to Facebook and Twitter by multiple users, Turner can be heard telling the officer she is walking to her house. The officer who shot Turner appears to be the only officer at the scene during the incident. Turner can be seen walking as she tells the officer he is “harassing” her. The pop of a stun gun can be heard as the officer appears to fire his Taser at the Turner. It is not clear if the stun gun hit Turner
Turner can then be seen on the ground with the officer on top of her, trying to grab her hands. Turner yells, “I’m pregnant,” and the officer steps away from her as she appears to be moving her hands near his legs. As the Turner sits up, the officer fires his gun five times and Turner falls back to the ground. It is not clear how many times she was shot.
You can watch the video below. Warning — the video is graphic:
Witnesses have said on social media that Turner was unarmed, but police have not confirmed if the woman was armed or not, or if a weapon was recovered at the scene. Police have said that Turner was able to get the the officer’s Taser away from him and used it on him. It is not clear from the video if that is true.
Baytown Police Lieutenant Steve Dorris said in a post on the department’s Facebook page early Tuesday, “Baytown Detectives are on the scene of an Officer involved shooting in the 1600 block of Garth Road. It is very early in the investigation however what detectives have learned thus far is one of our officers, an 11 year veteran with the department, was patrolling an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Garth Road when he came across a 45-year-old female that he knew from previous encounters and knew she had outstanding warrants.”
Dorris added, “The officer contacted the female and attempted to arrest her at which time a struggle ensued, forcing the officer to deploy his department issued Taser at the female. It appears that as the officer was then attempting to handcuff the female she was able to gain control of his Taser and turned it on the officer, Tasing the officer, which forced the officer to draw his duty weapon and fire multiple rounds at the female, striking her at least once.”
According to Dorris, “The female has been pronounced deceased at the scene. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is on scene and assisting in the investigation, as is normal in these types of incidents. Any future updates will be provided via an official press release later today, as the investigation unfolds.”
According to the Baytown Sun, Dorris said the officer has been placed on three days of paid administrative leave, which is the “usual practice” for the department. Dorris told the newspaper he does not believe the officer has shot anyone previously.
Turner’s sister told KPRC-TV that Turner has two children, both in their 20s, and three grandchildren. Her sister said the officer also lives in the apartment complex and her sister had complained about him harassing her previously. Police have not confirmed whether the officer lives in the complex and whether Turner had many any official complaints about him or had interactions with him in the past.
Pamela Shantay Turner did have outstanding warrants for her arrest, records show. She was wanted on two counts of criminal mischief and one count of assault resulting in bodily injury. The charges are all misdemeanors. Court records show that Turner’s $100 bond was revoked for an unknown reason on May 7, a week before she was shot and killed. Turner had been arrested on May 1 and posted bond on May 4 in connection to an April 25 incident.
According to court documents obtained by Heavy, Turner was accused of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor criminal mischief after two separate incidents. Turner was accused of breaking a woman’s car window, causing $750 in damage, on May 1. In the assault case, she was accused of scratching a woman, causing a minor injury, during an incident on April 24.
Police said in the arrest report that Turner went into her apartment complex’s office on April 24 and was “irate” that an eviction notice had been issued. The victim told police she asked Turner to leave, but Turner refused. She said Turner then grabbed her face, knocking her glasses off and scratching her nose.
A Harris County judge ordered a mental health assessment citing “early identification of suspected mental illness or intellectual disability,” according to court documents.
Turner had previous convictions for misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor criminal trespassing in Harris County. She did not have any felony or other more serious charges on her record.
Lieutenant Dorris criticized the witness who posted the video on social media.
“It’s unfortunate that somebody takes a tragic incident like this and posts it on social media,” Dorris told KPRC-TV. “It’s extremely disrespectful for everybody involved, but that’s the day and age we live in with social media.”
The ACLU of Texas pushed back against Dorris in a statement.
“The ACLU of Texas calls for an independent investigation into the tragedy in Baytown and the immediate release of the officer’s body camera footage. The escalation seen on bystander video from a simple stop to the use of brutal deadly force is shocking and raises serious concerns. There are too many questions about this tragic loss of life, and the public deserves transparency,” ACLU of Texas legal director Andre Segura said in a statement. “The Baytown Police Department has stated that it was ‘disrespectful’ for bystander video of the shooting to be posted online – that is wrong. There is nothing disrespectful or inappropriate about documenting or sharing video of the way the police act in our communities, especially when they kill someone. Community members have the right to monitor, discuss, and ultimately control the way we are policed.”
Baytown Police officers are issued body cameras, but it is not clear if the incident was recorded on the officer’s bodycam.
Baytown, Texas, is a city of about 76,000 people in Harris County in the Houston area. The Baytown Police Department says on its Facebook page, “Our police department is currently comprised of 175 sworn officers and 56 support personnel. The department is divided into three Bureaus, each of which is under the command of an Assistant Chief. Although each Bureau is independent of the other, it is paramount that we all work together.”
Baytown PD Chief C. Keith Dougherty has led the department since 2008, according to the department’s website. Dougherty has not commented about the shooting. Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo has also not commented.
The shooting occurred at The Brixton Apartments, at 1601 Garth Road, in Baytown. The Baytown Sun reports that residents gathered at the scene Tuesday morning, along with people who said they saw the video of the shooting on social media and were angered by what they watched.