Christian Taylor Was Tased & Shot After Allegedly Breaking In A Windshield, Say Police
In a news conference on Saturday evening, Arlington Police said that 19-year-old Angelo State University student Christian Taylor had been attempting to break the windshield of a vehicle at the Classic Buick GMC on Collins Street, as seen in surveillance video footage, when he was killed following an altercation with responding officers. A police spokesman, Sgt. Paul Rodriguez, indicated that multiple units had responded to a burglary call in the early morning hours on Friday, and had surrounded the dealership when police officer Brad Miller and his partner tased and shot Taylor, who later died at the scene. The remaining details of what transpired that night, said Rodriguez, remained blurry, but a generic picture had started to form.
According to the rough timeline detailed in Saturday's news conference, police were first alerted to a burglary in progress around 1 a.m. on Friday morning. In surveillance footage obtained by Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, Taylor is seen wandering through the parking lot of the dealership, subsequently climbing stop the hood of one of the vehicles and attempting to kick the windshield in. The outlet reported that he had then driven his Jeep through the locked front gate of the dealership and into the glass front door of the main building.
After responding officers began arriving on the scene, said Rodriguez on Saturday, Taylor's location was unclear. However, he added, within a few minutes, officers reported that Taylor was seen wandering through the inside of the dealership.
"A few minutes after arriving on scene, an officer observed Mr. Taylor freely inside the dealership building," said Rodriguez. After more responding officers began to surround the building in "an attempt to contain what they believed to be a felony burglary in progress", he said, police were able to establish verbal communication with Taylor, "instructing him to lie on the ground".
"Mr. Taylor was not compliant," said Rodriguez, who alleged that Taylor had then fled to the southwest corner of the dealership and attempted to escape through a locked glass door. "A field training officer with 19 years of service with the city of Arlington, and Officer Brad Miller, a recruit officer nearing the end of field training, entered the showroom in an attempt to arrest Taylor [and] there was a confrontation between [them]," he reported.
Rodriguez explained that Miller had proceeded to draw his sidearm and fired four shots at Taylor, who was unarmed. An autopsy report had not yet confirmed the number of shots that actually struck him, he said, although initial medical examiner reports concluded that Taylor had at the very least suffered "gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen."
"We also know that a Taser was discharged ... by the second officer," added Rodriguez, "[but] investigators have not determined the sequence of events between the two officers." The Taser discharge, he explained, would be a focal investigatory point going forward.
More information beyond what had physically transpired at the dealership was unknown, but authorities, including FBI field officers assisting with the investigation, have said that they would be updating the public over the next few weeks.
So far, police have not determined the motive or reason behind Taylor's actions. The student athlete's mental state and questions as to whether or not he had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident also remained unclear.
For a grieving community, Saturday's news conference, intended to establish a line of communication between police and civilians, only served to open up fresh questions. Said Rodriguez,
Everything about the outcome of this incident is tragic. A community is hurting, a family is hurting, and our department is hurting. We will do everything in our power to make sure that the information needed to restore our community is provided, and to ensure accountability, public trust, and public confidence is maintained through the process.