Attorney: Possible witness saw deadly officer-involved shooting

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Lee Merritt, the attorney for the family of Michael Dean, says he’s talked to a witness who says he was there just as the deadly officer-involved shooting happened.

Attorney Lee Merritt says he's talked to a person who claims they were at the scene.

“He saw Officer Carmen DeCruz who had enlighten from his vehicle was pointing a firearm at the direction of the driver’s side door of Mr. Dean’s vehicle,” said Merritt.

Dean, 28, is killed on Dec. 2 around 8:15 p.m. in the area of Southeast H K Dodgen Loop and Little River Road.

“He saw him put that firearm away and pull Mr. Dean out and begin to try and perform life-saving measures,” said Merritt.

Merritt says Dean was unarmed and shot in the head.

“The witness says that he saw DeCruz drop to his knees and say, ‘My career is over. I’m going to lose my f-ing job, I f-ed up,'” Merritt said.

Dean’s death is sparking a conversation across the country.

A rally by the Temple branch of the NAACP was held Wednesday to push for answers in the case.

“We know enough to know that a crime took place or there is evidence of a crime. Carmen DeCruz is not being treated like other citizens,” Meritt said.

So far, Temple police have remained tight-lipped, referring all questions to the Texas Rangers, who are investigating.

Police did clarify a report of Dean’s death being ruled a homicide in a preliminary autopsy. Homicide, a term applied in any case in which a person kills another -- regardless of the circumstances.

Merritt says Dean’s family is being left in the dark.

“I implore the mayor and everyone else to put protocol aside. As long as they don’t break the law they can do whatever it takes to not only get justice for this family but keep them in the loop,” he said.

In response to the officer-involved shooting, the Texas Municipal Police Association released a statement.

Part of the statement reads, "In emotionally charged times, there is a demand for fast answers, but investigations take time. We ask everyone to allow Texas Rangers to do their job and await their findings. The Rangers' investigation will produce answers sought by all of those impacted."