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Police: Rusk County deputy fatally shot unarmed man believing he tried to hide illegal drugs

The document states Randall broke free from the struggle and stood up while the deputy was in a “tactically compromised position on the ground.”

RUSK COUNTY, Texas — Editor's Note: The video was produced in October. 

Investigation documents show a Rusk County deputy fatally shot an unarmed man, who the deputy believed tried to hide illegal drugs in his waistband, in his torso following a struggle during a traffic stop in September. 

Timothy Michael Randall, 29, also known as "Mike" to family, was killed in an officer-involved shooting on Sept. 14.

At the time of the shooting, Rusk County Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez said the deputy stopped a man who was driving at Highway 64 East and County Road 4125 in Rusk County. During the traffic stop, the deputy shot the man, who was later identified as Randall, and he died at the scene.

Valdez said the deputy was placed on paid administrative leave under the sheriff’s office policy.

According to a report from the Office of the Attorney General, Randall was pulled over for a traffic violation around 12:30 a.m. When the deputy was performing a pat-down, the report states Randall tried to conceal “contraband” in his waistband and made movements toward his waistband as well. 

Randall would not follow the deputy’s orders. He also resisted the officer's attempts to handcuff him. This led to a struggle, in which Randall and the deputy were on the ground, according to the report. 

The document states Randall broke free and stood up while the deputy was in a “tactically compromised position on the ground.” The deputy then fired a pistol round from his handgun, which struck Randall in his torso. 

Randall did not display or use any weapon during the incident. He also didn’t try to injure anyone and he was not restrained, the document explained. 

The OAG report states that if Randall had been charged, he would be arrested on the following: possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. None of these charges were filed against Randall at the time of his death. 

Randall’s cousin Bo Frizzell told CBS19 in an October interview Randall called his mother when the deputy pulled him over for a traffic stop. She was the last person to talk to him.

"Within five to ten minutes of her getting there, he was found face down on the ground with about 30 yards in between him and his car," Frizzell said. 

The family said they have not received any new information since that day.

"We feel like they're hiding something," Frizzell said. 

"In my heart I hope that they're really trying to be thorough or they're hiding something," Randall's sister Jennifer George said. 

Frizzell said Randall was goofy and enjoyed making people laugh. George said her brother was a well-loved southern gentleman.

RELATED: Man shot, killed by Rusk County deputy, family seeks answers

RELATED: 1 dead, deputy placed on administrative leave after officer-involved shooting in Rusk County

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