HOUSTON – Video has surfaced of the moments leading up a deadly shooting that involved a Harris County deputy.
Danny Thomas' family broke down as they watched what appears to be the moments before his death caught on cellphone video that surfaced on social media.
“You could have tased him,” said Markeeta Thomas, Danny Thomas’ sister. “You could have clearly tased him. He wasn't trying to hit you. He wasn't trying to shoot you. He wasn't trying to do anything.”
The shooting was reported about 1 p.m. Thursday in the 17600 block of Imperial Valley Drive at Greens Road.
A deputy was passing through the area when he noticed two men involved in an altercation near a vehicle at the entrance of the intersection, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
Houston police said a man, identified as Danny Ray Thomas, was wearing his pants around his ankles, talking to himself and hitting vehicles with his hands as they passed by.
The deputy stopped his vehicle and advised Thomas to stop. He attempted to use other verbal commands, but Thomas approached the deputy in an aggressive manner, Gonzalez said.
The deputy shot Thomas one time in the chest, Gonzalez said. Thomas was pronounced dead at Houston Northwest Medical Center.
A video posted on Snapchat and Facebook shows Thomas, with his pants around his ankles, walking toward the deputy, who has his firearm pointed at Thomas.
Thomas follows him as the deputy walks backward with the gun pointed at him.
The video does not show the shooting.
Though the shooting involved a Harris County deputy, the incident happened within Houston city limits. Both jurisdictions will conduct their own investigation into the shooting, Gonzalez said.
The deputy was not injured.
Markeeta Thomas said that, as she watched the video, she felt that her brother was not in his right mind. She said Danny Thomas was having trouble dealing with a family tragedy. His wife stands accused of drowning their two children.
“Whenever he got into that mind frame, thinking about his wife and his kids, he just felt like he was alone,” Markeeta Thomas said.