TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Titusville Police Department said it has completed its investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting.
Investigators said Officer Joshua Payne shot James Lowery during a domestic violence call the day after Christmas.
Before the shooting, officers said they were called to a “violent domestic call,” where a suspect was at large and on foot in the area.
Police said they stopped two possible suspects and released them after they provided their identity.
Payne encountered another possible suspect matching the suspect’s description and ordered him to stop, police said.
Officers said the suspect fled on foot for several blocks. Then, Payne tried to stop him with his taser.
Investigators said the suspect then reached into his pants and appeared to remove an item. That’s when Payne drew his gun.
Police said the suspect grabbed Payne briefly and then jumped over a fence.
Investigators said Payne was holding his gun in one hand and his taser in the other.
They said when Payne tried to go over the fence, he fired one round. That round struck the suspect in the head, killing him.
Police identified the man as James Lowery, 40, of Titusville.
Investigators said while Lowery matched the description of the suspect, he was not involved in that incident.
Police said they believe Lowery may have chosen to flee because he had illegal drugs.
After a criminal investigation was concluded by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Payne was arrested.
Payne resigned from his position as a police officer on the day he was arrested. He is no longer an employee of the department.
Police said the administrative investigation revealed that Payne put himself in “a tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving situation.”
Investigators said Payne violated department policy and acted outside department training.
Police said their training does not allow officers to hold a gun in one hand and a taser in the other.
Investigators said they believe that Payne accidentally fired his gun as he encountered the fence.
“Nothing in the investigation revealed any justification for the use of deadly force, nor did it appear the officer intended to use deadly force,” a report said.
“We extend our thoughts to the family and friends of James Lowery”, said Chief John Lau. “We are devastated at this tragic incident.”
Titusville police released the body camera video.
You can watch it below. WARNING: The video contains graphic content.
See more in the video above.
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