The Denton County sheriff’s deputy who killed Kristopher Adams during a warrant arrest near Sanger on Sept. 16 shot Adams in the middle of his upper back, according to a document obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle.
The deputy is back at work as the Denton Police Department continues its own review of the sheriff’s office’s internal investigation of the shooting, spokespeople from both agencies said Wednesday afternoon.
Kris Adams was wanted by the Florida Department of Corrections when Denton County warrant deputies tried to arrest him on Sept. 16. The Denton County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were chasing him when Adams pointed a handgun over his shoulder toward the deputies. One of the deputies fired a bullet that struck Adams in the upper back, a Sanger Fire Department incident report provided by Adams’ family attorney confirms.
Members of Adams’ family, including his mother, have said they would sit down and watch police body camera footage so they could move on from the shooting, and see for themselves if what the sheriff’s office has said happened in news releases is true. The medical document, which the family received after making a Texas Public Information Act request for it, confirms for the family a key detail in how Adams’ life was taken.
“The family is looking for what anyone would want when losing a loved one: answers,” attorney Case Cagle wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Nobody should be left wondering why their husband, father, son, brother or nephew was shot in the back.”
The report says sheriff’s deputies performed CPR on Adams after he was shot and had covered his gunshot wound with medical dressing.
On Wednesday, the Denton County District Attorney’s Office said it had not received the officer-involved shooting case from either the sheriff’s office or the Denton Police Department, which is checking the county’s work in this case instead of the Texas Rangers, the state agency the sheriff’s office has asked for assistance in recent deputy shooting cases. Ultimately, a grand jury will decide whether the deputy did anything wrong.
Denton police spokeswoman Khristen Jones said her agency had received the case from the sheriff’s office and that Denton investigators would take as long as they needed before completing the department’s review.
Orlando Hinojosa, spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed Wednesday the deputy involved was back at work. Since the mid-September fatal shooting, the sheriff’s office under Sheriff Tracy Murphree has refused to say which deputy shot Adams.
The Record-Chronicle has requested under the Public Information Act copies of the incident reports showing the names of the deputies involved, 911 recordings and body camera footage in connection with the shooting. The sheriff’s office has declined to release any of the requested information, appealing to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for permission to keep those records secret.
In a letter dated Oct. 14 addressed to Assistant District Attorney Mary E. Miller, an attorney representing the newspaper in its pursuit of the public information wrote, “I trust that you will have the Sheriff’s Office comply with my client’s request within 10 days of the receipt of this letter so that litigation can be avoided to obtain information wrongly withheld.”
The sheriff’s office’s handling of the investigation — specifically, not having the Texas Rangers review it — marked a change since the last time a Denton County deputy shot and killed a person, in June.
In that case, a Texas Ranger did what Denton police are doing in the Sanger case. Three sources who are former employees of the sheriff’s office and familiar with law enforcement at multiple levels in Denton County said the change came after the Rangers declined to complete the Lantana shooting review sooner than normal, something Murphree has denied happened.
Cagle, the attorney representing Adams’ family, said the family still wants to see footage of the shooting.
“We hope the Sheriff will take note of how nearby counties have handled officer involved shootings and how they were applauded for their transparency,” Cagle wrote.