Baytown officer Juan Delacruz shot Pamela Shantay Turner, 45, in May 2019 after initially attempting to arrest her because she had outstanding warrants. Police said earlier that during a fight between the two, Turner reached Delacruz’s Taser and used it on him.
The Texas Rangers led the shooting investigation and submitted their findings to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for review. The DA then presented the results to a grand jury who returned with the indictment, a Baytown police said in a press release.
“We have confidence and trust in our justice system, and while we wait for this case to continue through the legal process, we ask that our community remain patient and have confidence and trust in these processes,”
Delacruz is an 11-year veteran of the department, Baytown police said. He is still employed, but he is put on non-enforcement status, said Lieutenant Steve Dorris, a spokesman for Baytown police. Non-enforcement status means Delacruz is not working on the streets and his police officers have been suspended.
Turner had schizophrenia, according to civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who represents Turner’s family.
How the shooting unfolded
Police have said Delacruz was patrolling an apartment complex in the suburbs of Houston when he saw Turner, who he knew had outstanding warrants. He tried to arrest her, police said.
Shaky cell phone video captured the interaction. Turner shouts to the officer, “I’m going! I’m actually going to my house!” and then accuses Delacruz of harassing her.
As he tries to hold the handcuff in her hand, she lets go and gets Delacruz to insert his Taser. Turner slowly falls to the ground, the video shows.
A fight ensues, and Turner shouts incessantly, “Why?” Delacruz continues his attempts to take her into custody, and Turner slaps her arms and shouts, “I’m pregnant!”
The woman appears to be reaching out for the officer who stands back and fires five rounds, the video shows.
Police later said Turner “was able to gain control of Taser and used it on the officer.”
Delacruz tried to administer first aid, police said, but Turner was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dorris, the police spokesman, said in May last year that Turner was not pregnant.
CNN’s Joe Sutton, Tina Burnside, Holly Yan and Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.