Palestine police release video of officer-involved shooting at restaurant

Published: Jun. 30, 2015 at 11:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2015 at 2:54 AM CDT
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James Bushey (Source: Facebook)
James Bushey (Source: Facebook)

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - On Tuesday, police released video of the altercation between officers and a man outside a restaurant in Palestine.

On Sunday, May 31, police shot and killed 47-year-old James D. Bushey. He was suspected of stealing beer from a store and hiding in a nearby restaurant. Bushey was shot by police after he pointed a weapon at an officer.

Palestine police ID man killed in officer-involved shooting

The body camera footage shows Sergeant Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylynn Griffin entering the Applebee's restaurant, looking for a suspect that has been described to them as a male wearing a black t-shirt, a black cap and tan shorts.

The officers located Bushey in the men's restroom and Sgt. Green waited for Bushey to finish washing his hands.

In the released video, Bushey asks Sgt. Green,  "What do you need?"

Green responds, "You're a suspect in reference to a theft case. I need you to step out please."

When Bushey does not respond, Green says, "Don't act dumb, come on and step out, you're on video, ok?"

Griffin then joined Green and Bushey in the restroom, and both officers are shown leading Bushey through the restaurant.

As the three exit the building, Officer Griffin asks Bushey for his identification.

In the video, Bushey is seen placing his hand close to his body and then pulling out what appears to be a handgun.  After a brief struggle, Bushey breaks away from Green and the officers respond with gunfire.   

On the scene, Griffin's body camera captured up close her attempt to render aid and CPR to revive Bushey.  She also recounts to another officer what happened. 

"He looked like he was about to run, I got in front of him," Griffin says. "[Bushey] turned and pulled the gun, that was it."

Police later determined the weapon was a BB gun designed to look like a 9 mm handgun, leaving unanswered questions about why Bushey drew the firearm in the first place.

READ MORE: Officer-involved shooting victim's brother: 'He was trying to turn his life around'

Last week, a grand jury determined that the use of deadly force was justified. 

The officers involved in the shooting did not face charges, according to the Anderson County District Attorney's office, and have returned to full duty. 

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