No criminal charges for officers in fatal shooting of Longview teen
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The Gregg County District Attorney's Office announced Friday that no criminal charges will be filed against officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Longview teen.
Longview police have said that in January, 17-year-old Kristiana Coignard walked into the lobby of the Longview Police Department, picked up an assistance phone and called for help. When officers responded, she brandished a butcher knife and made threatening movements toward them. She was shot and killed.
All officers involved in the incident have returned to duty. District Attorney Carl Dorrough's office released a statement on the grand jury's decision:
The investigation into the use of deadly force by Longview officers involved in the January 22, 2015, shooting that claimed the life of Kristiana Joy Coignard was presented to a Gregg County grand jury on June 25, 2015. The investigation was conducted by the Texas Rangers after Coignard was shot by Officers Glenn Derr and Grace Bagley in the lobby of the Longview Police Department. Coignard died as a result of wounds sustained in the shooting.
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On Thursday, January 22, 2015, officers were called to Longview Police Headquarters shortly before 6:30 p.m. after a young female, later identified as Kristiana Joy Coignard, entered the lobby. Using the lobby telephone, she told telecommunications operators that she needed help. Officer Glenn Derr was the first officer to respond. As he walked up to her, Coignard raised her left hand which had the words 'I have a gun' written on her palm. Derr asked where the gun was located. Coignard responded by moving her left hand up towards the inside front of her jacket. As Derr reached for Coignard's arm, she backed away.
READ MORE: Longview police release video of officer-involved shooting
Derr grabbed her left arm as Coignard began pulling away from him. The two began to struggle and fell onto a bench in the lobby. As Derr attempted to contain Coignard, she moved her body and kicked at him with her legs. The pair struggled on the bench for just over two minutes. Derr pulled his weapon when Coignard refused his request to stop moving her hands towards the right side of her body. As the two continued to struggle, Coignard stood up. Derr then reholstered his weapon and threw Coignard to the floor where she landed on her stomach.
As Derr attempted secure her, Coignard displayed a knife at which point Derr backed away with his weapon drawn. As Officer Gene Duffie entered the lobby and walked towards the two, Coignard rose to her feet. When he saw she was holding a knife, Duffie removed his tazer and began speaking to her.
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Approximately fourteen seconds after Duffie arrived, Officer Bagley entered the lobby. As Bagley walked up behind Duffie, Coignard rushed towards Derr holding the knife in her right hand. As she charged, Derr back peddled and fired as did Bagley. Duffie discharged his tazer. A total of five shots were fired along with the discharge of Duffie's tazer.
After reviewing the evidence, including videotape from the lobby surveillance camera and testimony from the Texas Ranger who conducted the investigation, the Grand Jury declined to take action against the officers based upon finding that the use of deadly force was authorized under state law. Therefore, no criminal charges will be brought against the officers involved.
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