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Terrence Dawson , 30
Blytheville, Arkansas
May 20, 2013

Agencies: Blytheville Police Department Arkansas

Last updated: 4 months ago

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A family is speaking out after a man is shot to death by an officer in an apparent hostage situation.

They say the officer overreacted when 30-year-old Terrence Dawson threatened his girlfriend with a knife.

The Blytheville Police Department kept quiet all day Saturday of how a man was shot and killed by an officer inside a home on South First Street early in the morning.

“He wasn't trying to fight or nothing,” said Mildred Bruce, the man’s mother. Even she wanted answers.

“There was one cop that shot my son and killed him in front of me, because I was sitting on my couch and I saw everything,” she said.

Bruce says an officer used unnecessary, deadly force to stop an apparent hostage situation. She believes her son could have been tasered instead and still be alive.

It all started when Bruce woke up around 6:00 in the morning to find her son banging on the front door. She said he had a knife to his girlfriend’s neck and two officers were already there with their guns drawn. She didn't know what led to that moment, only that once inside, the officer went after her son.

“He got him from behind here and threw him like this on the table,” she said as she motioned it, “and then (Terrence) looked at me and the officer (shot him several times),” Bruce said as she made the sound of gunshots. “So when he did that, the only thing I could do was curl up on the couch and start hollering.”

The woman got away unharmed. Bruce and the rest of the family were forced to wait outside while police investigated the fatal shooting. The mother claims not one investigator got her family's side of the story.

“The cop knows he was wrong. He was,” said Bruce. “He didn't even apologize, didn't even come talk to me. None of them did.”

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September 2013 Officer justified