Police Kill Unarmed Black Man in Texas; Say They Mistook Cellphone for Gun

Angela Bronner Helm
San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus speaks on Nov. 18, 2015, in San Antonio.
Rick Kern/Getty Images for Marisol Deluna

San Antonio police say that they vow to do a thorough investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by cops, Reuters reports.

Police say that Antronie Scott, 36, was spotted early Friday morning by undercover detectives and fatally shot as he exited a vehicle in an apartment complex on San Antonio’s North Side.


My San Antonio reports that Scott was wanted on two felony warrants for gun and drug possession. Detectives who had been tracking him said they radioed a uniformed officer to pull him over.

Police say that when 11-year-veteran John Lee approached his car, Scott got out and spun toward him.

Audio from the incident confirms that Lee shouted, “Show me your hands,” but discharged a shot seconds after the last word came out.

At a press conference held Friday, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said that the shooting happened “in the blink of an eye.” He added, “Officer Lee stated that he feared for his life when he discharged a single round.” Lee reportedly told the top cop that he thought there was a gun in Scott’s hand, but that object turned out to be a cellphone. The fatal shot hit Scott in the upper torso.


There was no video footage of the episode because the officer’s onboard camera had an obstructed view.

My San Antonio reports that the SAPD is expecting a shipment of body cameras this month, but they have not yet been distributed to the shooting officer’s precinct. Officer Lee has been placed on administrative duty, pending the investigation.


Read more at Reuters and My San Antonio.

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