Local 2 Investigates: Was it murder or self-defense?

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY - A well-to-do community near the Johnson Space Center is still reeling a week after one neighbor shot and killed another neighbor.

The incident on May 26, around 4:30 a.m., is still under investigation by the Lakeview Police Department, a small agency that serves the Timber Cove subdivision.

"He did not deserve to be executed in the street," said Kimberly Briers Moore, the shooting victim's sister.

Brandon Smith, 36, died from gunshot wounds to his head and torso, according to the Harris County Medical Examiner.

Police said in the hours preceding his death, Smith had twice tried to attend a party near his home as an uninvited guest.

He left, but returned a few hours later, according to police and Smith's father.

"If I had just sat up here and watched one more movie with him, none of this would have happened," said Stanley Briers, Brandon's father.

Briers believes his son was murdered by the owner of the home where the party took place. Local 2 Investigates confirmed the identity of the shooter, a doctor, but we are not releasing the information because he is not charged with a crime.

Police have said they collected information from some witnesses that support the claim that Smith attacked the doctor, and the doctor shot Smith in self defense.

The shooting victim's family members, as well as other community members have trouble with that point.

"The man was off his property, on the street, and around the corner, and shot him in the public street," Stanley Briers said.

Police are still investigating the incident, but have encountered criticism from community members who don't believe investigators have done a thorough job.

"If you have a tire parked in the grass over here or a dog gets lose, there would be more of an investigation," Danny Bates, who lives near the shooting scene, said.

Local 2 Investigates has learned that police investigators had not interviewed any homeowners near the scene in the five days following the incident.

Police also did not test the blood alcohol content of the shooter.

"No that was not done... under the Texas Penal Code voluntary intoxication is not a defense to prosecution," said Det. Tim Dohr. "That was not one of the higher priority items to work on with limited manpower."

Dohr assures residents that a detailed investigation is being carried out.

"Just because they haven't seen the efforts over the past week doesn't mean nothing was done," Dohr said.

Police said the decision of whether to prosecute the shooter will be left to Harris County District Attorney.

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