Bell County, Texas (FOX 44) – The Texas Rangers are investigating what lead to the death of a man in Temple on Wednesday. It started with a call to police about suspicious activity in the 1200 block of Allegiance Bend around 7:48 a.m.
The caller told police a man, 19-year-old Anthony Turner, Jr., in an orange shirt was acting strangely near their home, where teenagers were inside.
A Temple Police officer went to the scene and spoke to Turner about ten minutes later. The officer ran a computer check on the subject and learned there was a misdemeanor theft warrant out for him.
The officer says he tried to talk to Turner again, but he ran off. The officer established a perimeter and called a K9 unit to help search for the subject.
Turner was spotted forty minutes later walking north on the southbound side of Interstate 35 near mile marker 302. An officer confronted him at 8:59 a.m. and aimed a taser towards him.
Police say Turner then moved into oncoming traffic and a vehicle hit him. The officer performed CPR and called for EMS. An ambulance got the man to the hospital, but he later died from his injuries.
Here is the timeline of events, according to Temple Police:
7:48 a.m. – An officer was dispatched to the 1200 block of Allegiance Bend in reference to a suspicious person.
7:57 a.m. – The officer identified a subject matching the description provided by the caller.
8:01 a.m. – After speaking with the complainant and subject, the officer advised the subject that he was not supposed to be at that location until after 4 p.m., and the officer told him to leave. The subject then left the premises. The officer returned to their patrol vehicle and found that the subject had a warrant for his arrest.
8:02:43 a.m. – The officer drove towards the subject, who had walked several houses away. The officer told the subject that he had a warrant, and he was being detained. The officer took hold of the subject’s right arm. The officer advised dispatch that they had one detained subject and requested a second unit. The subject stated that he did not have a warrant and began to pull away. The officer told the subject to not resist. The subject pulled his arm out of the officer’s grasp and fled on-foot towards a backyard in the 1200 block of Allegiance Bend. The subject then jumped over a fence and out of the officer’s sight. The officer did not pursue the subject.
A perimeter was set up by other Temple police officers. Shortly after the perimeter was set up, K-9 officers started a track from the last spot the officer saw the subject.
8:52 a.m. – A Temple police lieutenant observed a patrol vehicle with the lights on stopped in the middle of General Bruce Dr. The vehicle was identified as a Bell County Sheriff’s Department vehicle. The lieutenant then saw the subject run across the road, in front of the vehicle, and toward the interstate.
8:55 a.m. – The lieutenant made contact with the subject from the overpass at Nugent Ave. and told him to get off of the interstate. Additionally, the lieutenant instructed police units to slow down all interstate traffic and block northbound traffic.
8:56 a.m. – The lieutenant reiterated his instruction for police units to slow down traffic on northbound and southbound Interstate 35 over the radio.
8:56:14 a.m. – An officer arrived at General Bruce Dr., saw the individual on the interstate and positively identified him as the subject. The officer verbally called to him, telling him to come over and get some water. The subject refused and continued running north.
8:58:35 a.m. – The subject ran on the top of the inside retaining wall on the interstate. A sergeant paralleled him with his vehicle and, over the PA system, advised him to get off the interstate. The subject was then observed running in traffic, with vehicles passing him on his left and right side. Officers advised the subject to get back to the center wall so he did not get hit by a vehicle.
8:58:55 a.m. – The officer neared the subject on the interstate. The subject ran northbound near the southbound retaining wall, and the officer directed (but did not discharge) their taser at the subject. The subject started moving westward, entering the southbound lanes of traffic, where the subject was struck by a vehicle. The officer immediately called for Emergency Medical Services and started performing CPR on the subject.
Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds asked DPS Troopers to investigate the deadly crash, while Rangers work with police officers to investigate what lead to it.
As is standard operating procedure, the officer involved in the incident is on administrative leave with pay.