Local 2 Investigates: Man shot during 911 call

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Local 2 Investigates obtained the 911 call placed by the man who shot and killed a neighbor in a well-to-do community near the Johnson Space Center.

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

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

During the 13-minute phone call, the shooter, a doctor who lives one block away from the victim, was heard yelling, cussing and warning someone, presumably Smith. Smith cannot be heard on the tape.

"Can you go back in your house?" the 911 dispatcher asked at one point after a brief silence.

"No. I have already shot him," the homeowner replied.

Local 2 is not identifying the shooter because he has not been charged with a crime.

In the hours preceding his death, Smith, according to police, had twice, within hours, tried to attend the doctor's party.

Smith's father, Stanley Briers, has not disputed that Brandon was not welcome at the party and should not have gone.

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

But Briers and some members of the community question whether the homeowner needed to shoot Smith, especially since the shooting occurred on a public street.

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

Briers said he believes his son was murdered by the owner of the home where the party took place.

But a detective said the local police department had collected information from some witnesses that supported the claim that Smith attacked the doctor, and the doctor shot Smith in self defense.

The case remains under investigation; but, the Lakeview Police Department, the small agency that has jurisdiction, has encountered criticism from community members who do not 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," said Danny Bates, who lives near the shooting scene.

Local 2 Investigates 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 assured residents that a detailed investigation was being carried out.

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

Local 2 Investigates reporter Joel Eisenbaum has tried to contact the man who shot Smith, but has not received a response.

Ultimately, police said the decision of whether to prosecute the shooter will be left to Harris County District Attorney, who could present the case to a Grand Jury.

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