Fort Bend County officer-involved shooting under investigation
RICHMOND, Texas – Authorities are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting that occurred Monday night near Richmond.
Deputies with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office were called to a home on Dawn Bloom Lane in the Sunrise Meadow subdivision south of Richmond just before 6 p.m. Monday for a call about a suicidal man who had barricaded himself in his residence.
Upon arrival to the residence, deputies said they were confronted by 26-year-old Michael Blair who was holding a knife.
Family members don't understand why deputies shot Blaire, a diagnosed schizophrenic.
"With his pistol drawn directly into the bathroom, we are his family, we are telling him no, no, no, do something else, there has got to be something else," said Steven Savage, Blaire's uncle.
The sheriff's office said a deputy used a Taser on the man. Then, Blair "advanced toward the deputy who shot and fatally wounded" him.
"They scream 'he's got a knife, he's got a knife', after they scream that he has a knife, one of the officers pull out a Taser," said Savage.
Sheriff's office officials say the deputy fired his gun 11 times, hitting Blair.
"The entire clip was emptied, I jumped, I jumped, I heard it, I couldn't help but jump, I am like no, what is happening, what is happening," said Savage.
"We had no history on the residence, I believe the family had been dealing with him for some time, but obviously the deputies only know what they know when they enter the house," said Major Chad Norvell of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities say the deputy who fired his gun is an 11-year veteran with the sheriff's office. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay and will also have a psychological evaluation before he is released back to work.
For a year and a half the Fort Bend County Sheriff's office has been trying to avoid situations like this by developing a crisis intervention team designed to deal with people in mental crisis.
"Hopefully that can prevent some of these types of situations, certainly not all of them, but mental situations are very tough for law enforcement," said Norvell.
Officials are hoping to have the program in place on April 1.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office's Internal Affairs Division is investigating this incident.
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