Dashboard Video Released From Fatal Shooting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Dashboard Video Released From Fatal Shooting

25-year old Jonathan King was being pursued after his involvement in a hit and run in Gladewater.

It was a minor accident, but when Gladewater officer Brian Naismith caught the trail, it turned into a wild scene ending in King's death.

Last week, Officer Naismith was cleared by an Upshur County grand jury, but legal action by King's family could follow.

Upshur County District Attorney's chief investigator Don Jeter points out the newly-released dashboard camera tape.  It is grainy and of poor quality.  Audio is absent, the Texas Rangers determined due to Naismith failing to turn on a microphone.  The Rangers concluded the loss of sound was not intentional.

"You see the green Mitsubishi fleeing from the officer," Jeter describes as when Jonathan King fled into the country, he hit a maze of sorts -- hills, trees, and some pasture. He let out two passengers and Jeter says from there, King drove out of sight.

Naismith dealt with securing the scene.

"He gets one of [the passengers] handcuffed when the suspect drives back down the hill," Jeter said. 

From above, Jeter shows us King's choices from an aerial photograph.  There are several possible paths King could have taken instead of confronting the officer again.

"He doesn't drive this way or that way, he drives right here where this officer's on the ground with these two people."

According to the Texas Rangers investigation, as King's car approaches, Naismith fires. Then into the camera frame King's vehicle moves from left to right.  Jeter says having already fired several rounds, Naismith runs behind.

The video indicates King is gone for fifty seconds before his car returns.

"Officer Naismith is in front and began to fire at the vehicle and driver," Jeter says.

 Naismith told investigators it appeared King was going to hit him. The shots were fatal. Texas Rangers investigated the case, but a grand jury refused to indict.

"I'm sure Officer Naismith wishes it hadn't happened. A lot of other people wish it hadn't happened. But Jonathan King made a choice that day that ended up costing him his life," Jeter said.

Jeter tells us autopsy results couldn't pinpoint from which direction Jonathan King was shot.

His family, however, tells us they're sure that Jonathan was shot in the back.

Brandy Bell was in the vehicle. On her attorney's advice, she didn't comment, but King's mother-in-law did.  Vicky Caton says Brandy and the other passenger say it was Officer Brian Naismith who was the aggressor.  She says Jonathan would never drive at the officer intentionally or, especially, at the two passengers he had just let out.

Caton accuses Officer Naismith of shooting at Jonathan from behind.

"Brandy and Kaylon [other passenger Crain] ...were on the ground, and the officer, [Brandy] says, is right behind them shooting over their head and Jonathan.  He wouldn't come near them," Caton said.

"Just from what I was told by Brandy what happened in the pasture -- that [Grand Jurors] could do something and they no-billed him?  I say 'My gosh!', they're not going to let this man walk and be a police officer anywhere?  He's a danger."

An Upshur County Grand Jury refused to indict Officer Naismith who returned to duty shortly after the incident. Vicky Caton says the family is looking at options, including possibly filing a civil suit.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com


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