Suspect dead in officer-involved shooting during arrest of theft suspect in Friendswood

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - Friendswood police now say the man who was shot and killed during a confrontation with an officer was armed with a box cutter. 

A business owner and a witness to the shooting painted a picture of what led up the fatal confrontation near the intersection of South Friendswood Drive and Willowick Avenue.

"It really affects you when you see something like that," Edward Galle said.

Galle said he was being driven home by his caretaker and was 20 feet away from the spot a Friendswood police officer shot a suspected thief, identified as Toby Cummins. Galle said what he remembers most was the officer's face.

"His complexion completely changed in his face and his face got very red," said Galle. "He may have had a very good reason for doing what he did, but it was an awful I'm telling you."

The owner of a Shell station 3/4 of a mile from the shooting told KPRC it was a call from his clerk that set everything in motion. Ron Jadidi said Cummins walked in and grabbed a beer from the cooler.

"He said, 'can I pay for this tomorrow,' and my guy said, 'no, because I don't know you,'" Radidi said his clerk told him.

Jadidi said Cummins told his clerk he was taking the beer anyway.

"He said,' I'm going to call police if you do that,' and he said, 'you do what you do and I'll do what I have to do,'" said Jadidi.

The clerk called police and an officer caught up to Cummins a short time later. Ehmber Fox was looking out of her office window when she heard a noise she at first thought was construction work.

"About that time I heard pow, pow, pow and I looked out here and you could see everybody scattering," said Fox.

Police said Cummins died after being rushed to the hospital.

"Honestly, I wish this wouldn't have happened. If I had known that I would have let him go. But you don't know people anymore," said Jadidi.

The Galveston County District Attorney's Office is also investigating the circumstances that led up to the shooting.

Officials ask any citizen who may have witnessed the incident to please call and meet with an investigator to report their eyewitness account.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2