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No charges in officer involved shooting

Posted by: tdt -

Nixie Sanderson
Managing Editor

No charges will be filed against the Dalhart police officer involved in a fatality shooting in April.
That is the decision from the Dallam County Grand Jury after deliberations on Thursday, August

Augustus Combs, age 27, was fatally shot near Honeycomb Storage following a pursuit by officer Brandon Armstrong on April 14.

"(The grand jury) found that he did not act inappropriately and it was a justified use of deadly force," district attorney David Green said following the grand jury session.

The district attorney's office also released video of the incident from Armstrong's body cam, which shows Combs pull a gun before Armstrong fired.

Armstrong stopped Combs while on patrol. Green said Combs had violated his rules for felony probation for possession of a controlled substance and a warrant had been issued.

"So, Officer Armstrong sees Combs. Combs is riding a bicycle; Armstrong flags him down and pulls him over," Green said. "You'll see their conversation (in the video)."

Green said Combs wanted to go put his bicycle up and Armstrong told him he could not let Combs go but offered to put the bike in the back of his patrol car.

"Combs takes off on the bicycle. Armstrong gets back in the car, follows him," Green said. "He crosses (Highway) 87, rides through the convenient store, Toot 'n Totum, and on around to the storage facility."

The pursuit ends at the storage facility, and Armstrong exits his vehicle.

"When they get to the storage facility, Armstrong gets out of his car and is going, 'hey, come here.' Combs is talking. And as he gets closer, Combs raises his shirt and pulls out a gun," Green said.

Armstrong also tells Combs to show his hands.

"We see Combs come out with a handgun and that's when Armstrong (fired)," Green said.

Green said Combs was carrying the same type and millimeter of firearm as Armstrong's firearm and that there was a round in the chamber when the Texas Rangers investigated.

Armstrong fired seven times, striking Combs three times. Green said Combs was struck in the knee, near the ear, which went into his neck and lodged in the shoulder, and another in the shoulder, which punctured his lung and heart.

Green said it is possible that Combs may have fired a shot based on the slow motion video of the shooting.

"Watch that slow motion, you'll see him work that slide. Unofficially, we think he might have shot a round because the pathologist said on Combs' shirt there is a grazing pattern like where a bullet went along the edge of the fabric. The rangers were not able to recover that round," Green said.

In addition to Armstrong, a civilian was in the patrol car as part of the ride-along program.

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