GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A Gregg County deputy pinned beneath a burglary suspect fired a single shot to keep from being strangled to death, according to a custodial death report filed in a database maintained by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The suspect, Dewayne McNeal Morgan, 37, of Tatum, later died at a Longview hospital. The deputy, identified as Logan Joines, was treated at a different hospital and released.
On the night of Sept. 29, Joines was attempting to detain a burglary suspect who was allegedly trying to unlawfully enter a home on West Access Road, near Longview.
The suspect, later identified as Dewayne McNeal Morgan, of Tatum, took off on foot, so Deputy Joines deployed a Taser with no effect, the report states. Joines gave chase, running across Interstate 20 before catching Morgan on a grass shoulder on the south side of the interstate, just west of mile marker 591.
A “violent physical altercation” forced the deputy to discharge his weapon, the sheriff’s office said at the time of the shooting. Morgan died later at a Longview hospital.
Details of that altercation are written in a report filed on October 3, in an in-custody death database maintained by the attorney general’s office.
“The suspect was able to get on top of the deputy while they were on the ground,” the report states, adding that the deputy “ordered him to get off of him, stating that he was unable to breath (with him on his chest).”
“As the suspect continued to choke the deputy, the deputy fired one shot from his county-issued duty weapon into the upper torso of the suspect to stop the suspect from choking him to the point of unconsciousness, or to the point of death,” the report states.
A gunshot wound to the upper torso caused by a handgun is listed in the report as Morgan’s cause of death.
A series of questions on the form allow law enforcement to provide additional information. The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office noted a “yes” to whether the deceased appeared intoxicated (on drugs or alcohol), resisted being handcuffed or arrested, or attempted to escape/flee custody.
A “no” reply was noted on whether the suspect had a weapon or attempted to obtain the officer’s weapon, whether any medical problems were exhibited, and whether the suspect was under restraint at the time of death.
A question about mental health problems is listed as “unknown.”
Texas Rangers continue to investigate Morgan’s death, as is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.