Bellville resident De'eddrick Graves was reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the neck by a Prairie View A&M police officer last week.
Authorities say Graves was armed at the time and the officer – who has not been named – was attempting to serve an arrest warrant when the shooting occurred.
Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes referred questions about the case to the Prairie View A&M Police Department and Texas Rangers. A spokesman for the Texas Rangers confirmed they have been asked to investigate and said media inquiries are being handled by Prairie View A&M Police Chief Keith Jemison.
Jemison did not return calls from The Sealy News but released the following statement:
“As many of you know, on January 30, 2019, a serious incident occurred on campus in the student housing area (Phase I). More specifically, a subject, unaffiliated with the campus community, recklessly fired approximately 14 rounds of ammunition toward two other subjects in the area surrounding the basketball courts. Although no one was seriously injured, multiple potential victims were in the area at the time of the shooting, including a 6-year-old child. Needless to say, this incident was deeply disturbing to the campus community, and, as a result, the Prairie View A&M University Police Department (UPD) immediately launched a criminal investigation. That investigation culminated in UPD identifying a suspect, developing probable cause, and ultimately, obtaining a felony arrest warrant.
On February 11, 2019, UPD Police Officers were conducting surveillance at multiple locations believed to be potential residences for the suspect named in its felony arrest warrant. At one of the locations, UPD Officers encountered the suspect and, while officers attempted to make an arrest, the suspect was subsequently seriously injured. I cannot confirm specific facts surrounding the case, as the incident has been referred to the Texas Rangers for investigation. However, I can confirm several general facts, some of which contradict the public narrative and media accounts.
* UPD Police Officers are general authority police officers under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), empowered to make felony arrests throughout the state of Texas. Additionally, pursuant to the provisions of Texas Education Code, UPD’s jurisdiction extends beyond the campus.
* In the February 11 incident, UPD followed its protocols and notified local authorities of the UPD law enforcement operations in their area.
* The suspect in the encounter was armed.
It is important that our stakeholders remember that UPD is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for those who live, study, and work at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). Further, those who would endanger and/or who would otherwise compromise that safety, will be appropriately investigated, and ultimately held accountable for their actions. I am confident that the outcome of the Texas Rangers’ investigation will bear out the truth and support the actions of UPD.”