Constable Cleared In Shooting

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - A Potter County constable involved in a shooting is justified in firing the shot.

Constable Leon Smith was cleared today of any wrongdoing in the May 13 shooting near Amarillo Boulevard.

It started with a suspect, Alex Smith, having reportedly stolen several bottles of Tide detergent from a store.

Constable Smith started to chase him and it ended with the suspect in his car backing up toward the constable's vehicle.

When Smith thought the suspect pulled a weapon, the constable pulled his own weapon and fired one shot.

Lt. Gary Trupe says, "he perceived he saw something black in his hands. The grand jury kind of had to go on what did constable smith see, what did he feel, what was his perceptions. He felt his life was in danger. He fired that shot."

That shot shattered Constable Smith's rolled up window in his vehicle but did not hit the suspect.

Although he is only accountable to the people who elected him and not any kind of supervisor, police still had to treat this as any other officer-involved shooting.

Smith's weapon was confiscated for testing and Lt. Trupe advised him to go on leave until the case went to the grand jury.

He followed that advice.

Smith is certified to have a firearm by the state agency that oversees law enforcement training.