But bodycam footage from one of the officers proves there was no way for the Palestine police officers to know the gun was fake.
No question it was a justified shooting.
The incident took place May 31 when Sergeant Gabriel Green and his partner, officer Kaylynn Griffin, were responding to a call about a man who had tried to shoplift a case of beer from a Walmart.
Employees told police they saw the man run into a nearby Applebee’s restaurant.
Sergeant Green found the man, James Bushey, inside the bathroom washing his hands. And ordered him to step outside.
Both cops walked Bushey out of the restaurant, requesting his identification where it looked to be headed for a routine arrest.
But once outside, Bushey pulled out a replica Colt 1911 .45 caliber handgun, prompting Griffin to yell out “gun, gun, gun!” as Green tried to wrap his arm around his neck.
Bushey broke free with the fake gun in his hand, then turned around as if he was going to shoot them.
Both officers opened fire, killing him on the spot.
During the investigation officers were placed on light duty until a Anderson County grand jury met and took no action against the officers on June 25. The grand jury viewed the footage as part of its deliberations. The officers returned to full duty the following weekend.
Bushey’s family members stated there was no reason for his behavior. Bushey had moved to Elkhart following a divorce and was trying to “get his life back together.” However, the family did admit that Bushey had dealt with previous alcohol problems and was in recovery. Muniz said the toxicology report has been received by the police station, but had not been released to the public.
The Palestine Police Department issued bodycams to officers in January 2015, which in this case, left no doubt the cops were justified in the shooting.
Bushey had moved to Texas from New Hampshire, where he had run-ins with the law involving alcohol and robbery while claiming he had a gun.