Brief report confirms man shot by local officer was unarmed

Michael Dean, 28, was shot and killed on Dec. 2 by Temple police officer Carmen DeCruz, 52. (Family photo/file)

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A brief report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office confirms that a man shot to death earlier this month by a Temple police officer was unarmed.

Michael Dean, 28, was shot and killed on Dec. 2 by Temple police officer Carmen DeCruz, 52, who was placed on administrative leave after the deadly encounter, which Texas Rangers continue to investigate.

The Peace Officer Involved Injuries or Death Report submitted Monday by Temple police Investigations Sgt. Robert Mallett says Dean “Did not carry, exhibit or use a deadly weapon” and says the shooting occurred as a result of a “Traffic Stop/Evading.”

The routine report is remarkable only because few details about the shooting have been released.

Temple officials have been criticized for their reticence to discuss the incident.

Members of Dean’s family are demanding answers about the deadly shooting and the attorney who represents them, Lee Merritt of Houston, has maintained consistently that Dean was unarmed and was shot in the head.

“We had an individual who was shot one time in the head, that doesn’t imply a scuffle that implies an execution. I don’t want to speculate…this family doesn’t want to speculate," Merritt said earlier this month.

Temple City Manager Brynn Myers released a statement on Dec. 19 in which she said the investigation by the Texas Rangers could take weeks or months before the case is presented to the Bell County District Attorney's Office.

"Because the Temple Police Department is not conducting the investigation, they do not investigating agency in order to determine those facts," she said.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Bryan Washko has said, however, that Temple police aren't disclosing information about the investigation not at the request of the Rangers, but at their own discretion.

But Myers said in the statement the city will continue to refer queries to the state investigators.

"While the Texas Rangers did not explicitly prohibit the city from releasing facts related to the case, it was clear they preferred we follow standard procedures by not releasing information related to an investigation being conducted by an outside agency. Therefore, we will continue to defer to the Texas Rangers as the investigating agency."