Name of Kermit Officer Who Shot Suspect Released; Questions Linger 1/25/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
January 25, 2012
KERMIT—Last night a Kermit neighborhood was filled with sirens, flashing lights and gun fire.
31-year-old Chad Weaver and his girlfriend were pulled over by police officer Donnie Jowers last night. Weaver got into a scuffle with the officer, who then fired a shot at weaver. One family friend who saw the scuffle is outraged.
"That officer had other means to respond,” said a friend of the Weaver family who wanted to remain anonymous. “Whether it be pepper spray, asp baton or tazor, he did not need to shoot Chad."
Kermit police chief Jamie Dunton referred all questions to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers could not answer why deadly force was used--saying only that their investigation is ongoing.
“The preliminary investigation by the Texas Rangers indicates that Nicolas Chad Weaver, 31, of Kermit was shot once during a struggle with the officer,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Tom Vinger in a statement.
Another eyewitness who lives on the street told us off-camera that officer Jowers fired his shot after weaver reached for the officer’s gun.
“There was a struggle, the officer was on top of him and the girl was screaming, "Why did you shoot him, why did you shoot him,” said Carly Kohr, a neighbor who lives on Weaver’s block.
Eyewitnesses also told us officer Jower's radio was not working at the time of the incident and that neighbors had to call for backup. The Texas Rangers are also looking into that. They tell us the officer was treated and released, but that they are not sure of his employment status, saying only that it's an internal police matter.
DPS officials say Weaver is still in a Lubbock hospital.