Failure to search fugitive properly led to shooting say police

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Taylor Hemness - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An internal investigation of a shooting that happened last week at the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center has found that Officer Jessica Doughten did not follow general orders for searching the property of a person taken into custody.

On July 24th, a Missouri juvenile, was taken into custody and searched, but his duffel bag was never searched. Once the teen arrived at the Attention Center, he was able to get to a handgun in his duffel bag, and fired several shots. No one was hurt in the shooting, but Police Chief Gary Swindle says Officer Doughten, and the department, can learn from the incident.

"The officer, number one, knew she messed up," said Swindle. "There's no doubt she knows, and has accepted responsibility, and is moving forward. I can just about bet nothing will ever go unsearched the rest of her career. As far as the department goes, we can never short cut our jobs, or not think fully of our actions."

Chief Swindle says Doughten's discipline has not been decided yet, but it will probably include several days off without pay.

The criminal investigation into the juvenile suspect's actions has led to the following charges:
Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant
Possessing a Deadly Weapon in a Penal Institution
Possession of Marijuana in a Penal Institution
Directive to Apprehend for Felony Assault out of Kansas City, Missouri
Failure to Appear out of Kansas City, Missouri

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