UPDATE: Alto citizens voice concerns about January shooting at city council meeting


POSTED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 11:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 10:11am

Update: The city of Alto held a town hall meeting Monday night, where members of the town discussed their opinions on how the city has handled officer Brandon Smith.

After being placed on administrative leave, members of the community say they saw Smith patrolling the city in a police vehicle.

Members of the city council tell KETK, smith was only working in the office, and was not performing any police duties while in the vehicle.

He was only working on office duties, but once there was a public outcry, council members tell KETK he was immediately removed from any city occupations.

But members of Griffin's family and supporters say they were offended by seeing the officer on the streets at all.

KETK tried to speak with members of the police force, but none of them wanted to comment.

Council members maintained that officer Smith has not performed any patrolling duties since the January shooting.

The Texas Rangers have not released any new information concerning their investigation

Original Story: Authorities were dispatched Wednesday afternoon to the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Alto on Highway 69 in Alto.

At around 4:40 p.m., an alleged thief, identified as James Eric Griffin, 48, attempted to rob the Pick N' Go convenience store of cigarettes.

According to the convenience store worker, he called 911 because Griffin had machete.

Griffin allegedly charged an the Alto officer in the 200 block of Highway 69 after leaving the store, according to the Department of Public Safety. The officer, Brandon Michael Smith, then shot Griffin, dead as he was being rushed. KETK is still unclear as to how many shots were fired, that information has not yet been released.

It is unknown if Griffin was in possession of weapon when he died.

The street was crowded with bystanders throughout the night, and Griffin's body was not removed from the roadway until around 7:30 p.m., according to KETK's Rachel Rollar.

Alto police and the Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting. Griffin's body has been sent to the Dallas Forensic Center for autopsy.

The officer has been placed on paid leave white the Texas Rangers do a standard investigation on Officer Smith, after the Rangers finish their investigations their findings will then go to the District Attorneys office for review.

KETK previously reported the deceased name to be Eric Hackney, as told by family members, it has been confirmed by officials the victims name is James Eric Griffin.



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Prayers for all involved.

If a person does not want to be shot or killed then said person should not take what is not his or hers.It's there choice to steal or not to steal.To risk your life for cigarettes is not a smart decision.

Yet another police killer - maybe a tazer would have been in order.

I agree!!! To use a tazer is far better than murdering someone over cigarettes that they may not have taken, or to unload a gun into them when they are already disabled on the ground (see ch 7 news, eyewitness reports) God bless Alto. They need to have more say about who is patrolling their town.

Ops... I hope they have a good video of this. If it's 'unknown' if the 'victim' had a weapon, well then we know he didn't. Kind of hard, after a day to not know.

Ops... I hope they have a good video of this. If it's 'unknown' if the 'victim' had a weapon, well then we know he didn't. Kind of hard, after a day to not know.

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