March 22, 2018
Agencies: Houston Police Department Texas
Cause of death: Shooting
Last updated: about 5 years ago
Unarmed, 34 year-old Danny Ray Thomas was shot and killed by police on March 22, 2018. Police said in a press release that witnesses saw Thomas in the intersection with his pants around his ankles about 1 p.m., while "talking to himself and hitting vehicles as they passed by."
Thomas hit a white vehicle, police said, prompting an altercation between himself and the driver. The deputy, who has not been named, saw the altercation from his squad car as he drove up to the intersection, the release said.
He exited his car and ordered Thomas to stop, the news release said. According to police, Thomas ignored the commands.
"Fearing for his safety, the deputy discharged his duty weapon, striking Thomas once in the chest," the police statement said. Thomas was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, Gonzalez told reporters.
The woman who recorded the last moments of Danny Ray Thomas’s life thought it would end differently.
“He about to get Tased,” a woman says in the video, laughing. A police SUV’s lights flash near an apparent altercation involving Thomas and another man on a Houston street.
Thomas is in white, his pants around his ankles. He heads to the right of the camera frame, and the Harris County sheriff’s deputy comes into view. His gun is drawn. The deputy backpedals. A passing truck obscures the picture for a moment.
Then, the gunshot comes, a single round that pierces Thomas’s chest.
The woman behind the camera is not laughing any longer. Her video is a chaotic, tumbling stream of images as she tries to regain composure. “Why he shot him? Why he shot that man?” she shrieks. The woman eventually reframes the scene, with the deputy crouching over Thomas. He was pronounced dead at Houston Northwest Medical Center, authorities said.
Former Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Cameron Brewer was indicted in the killing of Thomas on Thursday October 25, 2018, after dashcam video showed Danny Ray Thomas wandering in the street with his pants around his ankles in the seconds before he was killed. If he's convicted, he could face life in prison on the charge of aggravated assault by a public servant.