Frank Ernest Shephard, known also as “Trey,” led police officers on a high-speed chase early Wednesday morning in Houston, Texas. Once the chase ended, the officers opened fire on Shephard, and it was all caught on live television.
According to KTRK, police were attempting to pull over Shephard for what they described as “suspicious activity.” But as the officers began approaching Shephard’s vehicle for questioning, he took off, leading them on a high-speed pursuit.
Deputy Thomas Gilliland said that Frank Ernest Shephard also made a threat to the officers if they did pull him over.
“During the chase, the suspect called 911 and was telling the dispatcher that he had a child in the car and that he would threaten to harm that child if officers attempted to pull him over or stop him.”
Shephard’s claim later proved to be false. The pursuit lasted for about 30 minutes until Frank Ernest Shephard crashed his vehicle into two other cars. Neither of the people in the other cars were seriously injured.
Gilliland explained that police had “given commands” to Shephard to surrender after the pursuit had ended. Frank Ernest Shephard got out of his vehicle with his hands in the air, but he then turned around and appeared to be reaching for something in his car.
“At this point, the top part of his body was hidden inside the vehicle. Fearing for their lives that the suspect was reaching for a weapon, two officers did discharge their weapon at the vehicle, striking the suspect and killing him.”
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Several media outlets, including KTRK, had captured the entire pursuit and aftermath on live television. Chris Shephard, the uncle of Frank, told the Houston Chronicle that he was unaware it was his nephew that police were chasing.
“I’m looking at it on TV, saying, ‘Why would you run from the law?’ Not knowing it was my nephew. My sister, his mom, called and told me that they shot and killed him.”
A separate KTRK report indicated that Frank Ernest Shephard had prior run-ins with the law, including instances of robbery and assault. Shephard’s uncle later revealed that Frank had a warrant for a 2013 incident, when he assaulted a family member, and that is the reason he ran.
“I’m not blaming no one, because you know he was at fault for reaching back behind. He should’ve just gotten up put his hands up and lay down the ground.”
KTRK also reported that Frank Ernest Shephard had called his mother, Cheryl Shephard, as the pursuit was taking place. Shephard said her son was vague on what was happening.
“He said, ‘Bye, I love you.’ He just called to tell me he loved me. I didn’t know what was going on at first. I told him I love him, what’s going on? And that’s when he told me that the police was chasing him, and then immediately I went to pray and said, ‘Stop please, stop.'”
[Image via Twitter]