PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Family and friends of a man shot by a police officer held a rally Thursday, calling for a thorough investigation into the matter.
De’eddrick Graves, 20, was listed in critical condition Thursday. A Prairie View A&M University police officer shot Graves in Bellville, Texas on Monday, outside of Graves’ home, officials confirmed to KPRC2.
The Prairie View A&M University Police Department said Graves was a suspect in a Jan. 30 shooting on campus.
Graves was identified as a suspect, said Chief Keith Jemison, in a memo addressed to campus. Monday, “UPD Police Officers were conducting surveillance at multiple locations believed to be potential residences for the suspect and, while Officers attempted to make an arrest, the suspect was subsequently injured,” the memo states.
KPRC2 has made repeated requests for an interview with Jemison. Each attempt was unsuccessful.
“I cannot confirm specific facts surrounding the case, as the incident has been referred to the Texas Rangers for investigation,” the memo went on to say, continuing, “the suspect in the encounter was armed.”
Graves’ family attorney disputed that claim, accusing the officer of planting a gun near Graves’ body after he was shot.
“I’m concerned that he had a long period of time with no camera, with no recording device, with no witnesses he had a long period of time to completely rearrange the scene. He must have done that, or he’d be in custody right now,” Paul Looney said.
Officials from Prairie View A&M did not specify where Graves was shot, but Quanell X, a community activist, said Graves was shot in the back of his neck, as he ran away from the officer.
“It’s common practice ... if a suspect is facing you and you see a potential threat of danger, then discharge your weapon,” Quanell X said. “This young man was running totally away from him and he was shot in the back of the neck.”
Quanell X said he was aware of one witness to the shooting, referring to her as a 60-year-old woman.
“There’s a very credible witness on the scene who has no dog in this hunt, an older person and they’ve never been to jail, no criminal history who said that cop picked that gun up, walked over there, and dropped it by the young man, as he was laying on the ground,” he said.
Before the rally, Quanell X and Jackie Walder-Harris, Graves’ grandmother, said they held a closed-door meeting with Jemison regarding the shooting investigation.
"One thing the chief did say to us [is] that he regrets that this shooting took place and the way it took place," Quanell X said.