Man shot, killed by local deputy identified

(Photo by Kathleen Serie)
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) The man whom a Bell County sheriff’s deputy shot after a short traffic chase was identified late Wednesday afternoon as Lyle Patrick Blanchard, 59.

He died at the scene of a gunshot wound to the upper body, police said Wednesday.

Bell County sheriff's Cpl. Shane Geers, who shot Blanchard, was placed on administrative leave, which is normal protocol after officer-involved shootings.

The shooting occurred at around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday on a private drive on a steep, wooded hill in the 12000 block of East Knights Way, police said.

“The driver engaged the deputy and shots were fired,” Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange said.

Lange described the shooting as a "gun battle," but a Harker Heights police spokesman later said investigators have not used that phrase to characterize the incident.

Geers was not injured, authorities said.

No one else was in the vehicle, authorities said.

The chase started after the deputy attempted to pull a driver over Tuesday afternoon, in the area of East Knight’s Way and Warriors Sundown Path in Harker Heights.

Authorities didn’t say why the deputy attempted to pull the driver over.

An autopsy was ordered.

Texas Rangers and Harker Heights police are investigating and will review dashcam video of the shooting.

Geers went to work as a jailer in 2000 in Bell County, attended the police academy, joined the Troy Police Department for about a year and then was hired as a Bell County sheriff's deputy in 2008, authorities said Wednesday.