No criminal charges to be filed in officer-involved shooting in Alto

CHEROKEE COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The Cherokee County grand jury voted Monday to "no bill" the case involving an Alto man who was fatally shot in January by a police officer, according to a news release from the District Attorney's Office.

"No criminal charges will be filed," the news release states.

The decision came after the grand jury for the Second Judicial District Court reviewed physical evidence and witness statements as well as audio, video and photos, according to a news release. Texas Ranger Rudy Flores, the lead investigator, also testified.

The case stems from Jan. 23, when the Alto Police Department responded to an aggravated robbery at the Pick N Go, 100 S. Marcus St., about 4:30 p.m., Capt. John Raffield with the Cherokee County Sheriff''s Office said.

Following the incident, James Eric Griffin, 48, of Alto, was fatally shot by Officer Brandon Michael Smith, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Raffield has said the officer shot Griffin on U.S. Highway 69, which is Marcus Street, about three blocks south of the Texas Highway 21 intersection, near where the Pick N Go is located.

After the incident, the officer was placed on administrative leave with pay based on the department's standard operating procedures, the news release states.


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