ABILENE, TX – Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge held a press conference this afternoon to update local media of an officer-involved shooting that occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to Chief Standridge, two APD officers responded to a call at approximately 2:27 a.m. to a convenience store located at the 2400 block of S 1st St. When they arrived, the clerk explained that an African-American male, approximately 6-foot-3 had left the store without paying for a can of beer.
According to the clerk, the store was familiar with the suspect and the staff had had issues with him in the past.
The suspect was wearing a black hoodie and faded jeans and the staff alleged he had pushed by the clerk nd headed towards the tracks.
The officers began searching the area and located an individual that matched the description they were given. The suspect then took off on foot and the officers were in pursuit until they reached a backyard of a residence.
The officers attempted to arrest the suspect, but he attacked them. They deployed their tasers to subdue him, but his clothes prevented the taser from working on the suspect. The suspect then allegedly pulled out a knife and attacked both officers. Then both officers shot their weapons and the suspect was hit.
The two police officers and the suspect were transported to a hospital to be treated for their injuries. According to Chief Standridge, both officers sustained “significant injures” and the suspect was pronounced dead.
At this time, the identity of the suspect is unknown as he had no identification on him. The chief explained that even though the convenience store clerk was familiar with the suspect they had no information regarding his identity. APD believes the suspect was in his 30’s.
The identity of the police officers was also not released as an investigation into the matter is currently underway. Standridge confirmed one officer was male and the other was a female and that they had both been with the department for eight years. Standridge believes both officers were part of the same academy class.
Standridge emphasized that from his understanding “both officers acted in self-defense and used force to end a very violent confrontation.” The officers’ actions “were consistent with policy.
Both officers were released from Hendrick Hospital after being treated for injuries and they are currently on administrative leave with pay. Both officers will be required to attend professional counseling before returning to work.