Groesbeck: Grand Jury Clears Deputy Who Shot Man During Struggle

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

GROESBECK (December 13, 2012)-A Limestone County deputy sheriff has been cleared of wrongdoing in the July shooting death of a suspect who was in custody.

The November session of the Limestone County Grand Jury declined to indict Deputy Billy Mack in the shooting.

Mack had been under investigation by Texas Rangers after he shot a man he was trying to arrest on July 12.

Steven Thompson, 41, died the next day at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco from wounds he sustained in the shooting.

Mack was trying to arrest Thompson on a burglary warrant outside a Groesbeck tire shop where Thompson worked.

Thompson was shot during the struggle, Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson said at the time.

The deputy first attempted to use a Taser to subdue Thompson, but when that failed, he was forced to use his firearm, Wilson said.

The deputy who was also bitten during the struggle, suffered minor injuries, Wilson said, and was taken to a Groesbeck hospital where he was treated and then later released.

Some witnesses, including Thompson's father Bill, offered conflicting accounts of the shooting, however.

Bill Thompson said two passersby were holding down his son on the ground when the deputy fired.

"Steven was on the ground, the deputy was on top of Steven, and then a guy from across the street and another guy came and held Steven down," he said.

"The deputy then stood up, and shot Steven. I mean it was just like that," Thompson said.

"They used deadly force for no reason, I mean he didn't even have a weapon. They may consider him an outlaw, but he's my son and I love him. I sure didn't want them to shoot him like that." Thompson said.

Other witnesses said the deputy fired after he became tangled in the Taser's wires.

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