LUFKIN - UPDATE: LUFKIN - Police have released the name of the person killed in an officer-involved shooting.
The deceased has been identified as Epthen Lamont Johnson, 40, of Lufkin. Johnson was on top of his victim, Jose Isabel Rodriguez Jr., 32, attempting to cut his throat when Officer Robert Blake Witherspoon discharged his duty pistol, resulting in Johnson's death.
The officer loudly attempted to get Johnson's attention and commanded him "let me see your hands" multiple times before taking lethal action. Johnson died at CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial Lufkin following the incident.
Rodriguez was taken to Woodland Heights Medical Center where he was treated for multiple injuries.
Per Department policy, the Texas Rangers are handling the investigation and therefore have taken custody of all related evidence including the 911 audio, dash and body cam videos, scene photos and witness statements.
Lufkin police say one of their officers was forced to shoot a suspect who would not stop stabbing another man.
When the officer arrived at 620 Kurth Drive, he said the two men were fighting on the ground. According to the officer, the suspect did not obey several verbal commands. The officer shot the suspect, who died from his wounds after being transported to a local hospital.
The officer was not harmed during the incident. We are working to determine the condition of the alleged victim.
“This is a very unfortunate situation in which one of our officers was forced to take lethal action in order to save the victim of an assault,” Chief Gerald Williamson said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragedy.”
The Texas Rangers are currently investigating the incident per department policy in the event of an officer involved shooting.
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