More Information On Officer and Suspect In Shooting - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/2/07-Gregg County

More Information On Officer and Suspect In Shooting

On New Year's Eve, a Gregg County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a Longview man. Tuesday, we found out more information on the suspect and the officer involved.  

Sunday night around eight o'clock Helen Franklin and her son say they heard the single gunshot that killed Abel Jaimes Benitez, 21, of Longview.

"I told my son what in the world is going on out there and then he said I don't know, then he went to the window and looked, he said, 'Momma, come look, come look' and then that's when I saw the man laying on the ground, all the police cars. This road was just full of police cars," Helen says.

A blood stain on FM Road 1252 marks the spot of a confrontation between Benitez and Deputy Nixon. It happened during a suspected DWI traffic stop. Right now, Sheriff Maxey Cerliano is not releasing why Deputy Nixon felt the need to use deadly force.  

County records show Abel Jaimes Benitez of Longview was convicted in August for DWI and in November of 2005 for criminal trespassing. As for Deputy Nixon, the ATF and the Texas Rangers are investigating the incident to see if any action will be taken against him.

Our research indicates, before serving with the Sheriff's office these past six months, Nixon was an officer for two years with Gladewater P.D. and then voluntarily resigned to transfer to Kilgore P.D. where he served for four years. Again, voluntarily resigning this past May. He's now been put on administrative leave.

"That is in accordance with the Gregg County Sheriff's Office general orders policy regarding the use of deadly force, that will be in affect until further notice," Sheriff Cerliano says.

An autopsy was conducted Monday on Benitez. Sheriff Cerliano says those results, along with toxicology results, will not be available for several weeks.

Tracy Watler/Reporting:

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