PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - Two officers involved in a fatal shooting in Palestine will not face charges after an Anderson County grand jury decided Thursday that a fatal shooting was justified.
The officers involved in the shooting - Sgt. Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylynn Griffin - were accused of fatally shooting James D. Bushey, 47, on May 31 at a restaurant. The jury determined Thursday that the use of deadly force was justified.
The Anderson County Criminal District Attorney's Office released this statement on the case:
The investigation into the use of deadly force by officers involved in the May 31, 2015 shooting of James D. Bushey was presented to an Anderson County Grand Jury today (June 25, 2015). The investigation began after Sgt. Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylynn Griffin shot and killed James D. Bushey outside of Applebee's in Palestine, Texas on May 31, 2015.
The officers were investigating a theft that had previously occurred at Wal-Mart and received information that the suspect was hiding in the bathroom at Applebee's. The officers located Bushey and escorted him outside. Once outside Applebee's, Bushey pointed a weapon at officers in a threatening manner and was shot. It was later determined that the weapon was a pellet gun manufactured to resemble a Colt 1911. Texas Ranger Rudy Flores led the investigation of the shooting.
After reviewing the evidence, including body camera videos worn by the officers, and testimony in the investigation, the Grand Jury decided to take no action against the officers as they determined the use of deadly force was justified. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against Sergeant Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylynn Griffin.
Criminal District Attorney Allyson Mitchell stated, "The investigation of this case shows the importance of body cameras in determining the justification of an officer's use of force or use of deadly force."
Police have said Bushey was suspected of stealing beer from a Palestine Walmart and hiding in the men's room of a nearby Applebee's Restaurant in the 2200 block of south Loop 256. He was taken into custody and during questioning, Bushey allegedly pointed a weapon at officers.
"Officers attempted to gain control of the subject, but he pulled away and again pointed the weapon at officers, at which time both officers drew their weapons and fired upon the suspect, striking him multiple times," Chief Mike Alexander said.
Alexander said an investigation determined Bushey had a BB gun designed to look like a 9 mm handgun.
Green and Griffin were placed on paid leave pending the investigation by the Texas Rangers and the district attorney's office.