A Texas police officer who fired 41 shots at a chase suspect in August has been fired.
The Garland Police Department confirmed that it fired Officer Patrick Tuter after an internal investigation into the Aug. 12, 2012, shooting.
Michael Allen, 25, was shot and killed after a high-speed chase that began in Garland and ended in Mesquite, Texas. Allen was wanted on suspicion of eluding police in Sasche a few days earlier.
Garland police spokesman Officer Joe Harn said Tuter violated the department’s general order of use of force and its pursuit protocol.
The department at first said that Tuter opened fire in fear of his life, but dashboard camera video raised concerns after it showed that Tuter had rammed Allen’s truck and fired 41 shots after he cornered Allen. Tuter reloaded twice, police said.
Allen’s father, Randy Allen, said he is glad the department finally acted on the matter because he doesn’t want any other families to feel what he, his wife and his son’s 4-year-old daughter feel every day.
“Maybe the streets are safer now,” he said.
The Allens have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tuter, seeking damages in their son’s death.
The lawsuit says that Michael Allen did not have a weapon and did not pose a threat to officers. The lawsuit also says that Tuter’s use of force was excessive.
“That’s what tears me up — that they weren’t only just excessive, it was excessive on top of excessive,” Randy Allen said.
The Allens said their son should not have run from police but also know that nothing can bring him back.
Tuter’s attorney said his client does not agree with the department’s decision to fire him and will appeal.
“The indefinite suspension was based upon alleged violations of the Garland Police Department’s internal, administrative policies,” the attorney said in a statement. “However, Officer Tuter’s actions were justified under this state’s penal code, and the indefinite suspension will be appealed under state civil service law.”