TEMPLE, Texas — With little to no information given to the public about an officer-involved shooting in Temple, we are now learning a few more details.
According to a peace officer, officer-involved shooting report, Michael Dean who was shot in the head and killed by Temple Police Officer Carmen DeCruz on Dec. 2, Dean was not carrying, did not display or use a weapon when he was killed.
The report said the incident was the result of a “traffic stop/evading." Dean was pulled over at 8:12 p.m. in the 3200 block of Little River Rd. It’s unclear what the initial traffic stop was for.
6 News reached out to Temple police for more information about the stop and clarification on how Dean was evading the officer. Department spokesperson Cody Weems deferred to Texas Rangers, which is the investigating agency. TPD later sent additional information about the form.
"The form filed by Temple PD with the AG’s office is required within 30 days of the reported incident. At this time, the Department has only limited information from sources that do not have first-hand knowledge of the facts and that limited information was used to complete this form. This case is still under investigation by the Texas Rangers, and the form may be revised by the Department at a later date as more facts become available," the department wrote.
A Texas Rangers spokesperson told 6 News that there is no official public update on the case and the investigation remains open and active.
We broke down a timeline of events since the shooting:
Dec. 3 - Police identified 28-year-old Michael Dean as the man who was shot. Around 1:30 a.m, Christine Dean, Michael’s mother, said an officer told her the news. That was about five hours after the shooting happened.
The same day, the family told 6 News they didn’t know what led to the shooting and they were looking for answers. The Temple Police Department released a statement that said it could not release any details.
Dec. 6 - The Dean family held a press conference at the Bell County Justice Center calling for transparency in the case. Temple PD held their own press conference that same day and said the department understood the desire for answers. Interim Chief Jim Tobin said he made a commitment to Dean's parents to update them when information became available.
Dec. 10 - Temple PD released the officer’s name who was involved in the shooting. Carmen DeCruz has been with the department for nine years and has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
The Temple branch of the NAACP protested Temple PD’s response to the shooting the next day and later marched to the police department.
Dec. 12 - The Texas Municipal Police Association issued a statement that said in part:
“In emotionally charged times, there is a demand for fast answers, but investigations take time. We ask everyone to allow the Texas Rangers to do their job and await their findings.”
Dec. 17 - 6 News was told that Dean's vehicle was released to the Temple PD on Dec. 5 from the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers documented the vehicle and processed it as evidence.
Temple PD said they notified the family that same day that the vehicle was available. They also said Dean's family attorney Lee Merritt requested the Temple PD hold the vehicle until they were ready to pick it up.
Police said they met with the family and their representative on Dec. 6 Merritt said their records show they met on Dec. 7.
According to Merritt, he issued a formal request for the vehicle to be kept in its condition on Dec. 10.
According to Temple PD spokesperson Cody Weems, the department's detective unit asked if the family wanted the department to clean the vehicle and they said they did not want it to be cleaned.
One seat, which had blood on it, was wiped down with bleach because it may have been upsetting to the family to see, according to Weems. He also said that this practice is “pretty typical” and is decided on a case by case basis. In this case, it was decided by Temple PD personnel to wipe the seat down.
On the morning of Dec. 6, the department felt that returning the vehicle with blood on the front passenger seat would be insensitive, so the blood was cleaned off the seat, Weems said.
Merritt then said that he did not want the vehicle touched any further as he had planned to have the vehicle processed by an independent forensic examiner. He asked that the Temple PD keep the vehicle until he could make arrangements for the vehicle to be picked up.
Weems said he knows that the car has not yet been picked up and at the time of cleaning, Temple PD did not know that the family wanted to conduct their own forensic investigation.