Update: Name released of man killed in Alto shooting - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Update: Name released of man killed in Alto shooting

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Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson speaks during  press conference Thursday. Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson speaks during press conference Thursday.
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ALTO (KYTX) -

ALTO, TX (KYTX) -- According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, the man killed in Alto Wednesday was suspected of aggravated robbery at the Pick-n-Go gas station.

He's 48-year-old James Eric Griffin, and family members say he was trying to take cigarettes from the store and is believed to have flashed a machete at the clerk.

But they argue he wasn't a real threat, just suffered from mental illness.

"I don't know if he was teasing or not, but he was off his medication," Cedric Reggie, Griffin's cousin, said.

Wednesday law enforcement reported that the Griffin allegedly charged the officer, something hard for Emanuel Griffin, also a relative, to believe.

"The people want to know, they want answers. Why did he shoot this man?" Emanuel said.

The Texas Rangers have taken over the investigation and have said little other than the body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy and they are still interviewing witnesses.

The Alto police officer who shot Griffin, Brandon Michael Smith, is on paid leave, which is standard protocol, officials said.

Watch for more updates to this story from CBS-19.

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