A suspected burglar of an Arlington car dealership was fatally shot early Friday by police.
Officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress about 1 a.m. at the Classic Buick GMC dealership on the Interstate 20 service road, east of Collins Street, said Sgt. Paul Rodriguez, a police spokesman.
A security company had called 911 after observing the suspect on camera outside the business.
Rodriguez said police arrived to find that the suspect had used a vehicle to crash into the showroom through the dealership’s front glass.
“The officers went and confronted him. There was an altercation. An officer discharged his weapon and struck the suspect,” Rodriguez said.
The suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was not armed with a weapon, Rodriguez said.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified him Friday afternoon as 19-year-old Christian Taylor.
The officer, identified by the department as 49-year-old Brad Miller, had just graduated from the police academy in March. He has been in field training and working under the supervision of a police training officer, the department said.
Miller has been placed on administrative leave, routine in deadly force incidents.
“We’re having two independent investigations — a criminal and administrative,” Rodriguez said.
“As an agency, we take the loss of any human life as serious, but we owe it to our community to conduct a clear and transparent investigation to determine what exactly took place.”
Clyde Fuller, Taylor’s great uncle, described his great nephew as a good man and talented football player who was about to return to college. He said he has many unanswered questions and doesn’t believe Taylor was burglarizing the dealership as police suspected.
“He was a good kid. I don’t see him stealing no car or nothing like that,” Fuller said.
“I think something is going on that somebody is lying about,” Fuller said.
“…They say he’s burglarizing the place by running up in there? Nuh-uh. Something doesn’t sound right.”
Rodriguez said the department is in the process of implementing a pilot program for use of body cameras by officers but that no such cameras are currently in use.
He said the dealership does have surveillance video but, as of Friday afternoon, investigators had not located any video capturing the shooting.
“We are looking at all available video from outside and inside the location to obtain as much information as possible,” Rodriguez said.
Tarrant County court records show Taylor has no convictions but was sentenced to 6 months deferred adjudication probation in December 2014 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
According to Arlington police report, the charge stemmed from a September 2013 traffic stop in which Taylor was found in possession of 11 hydrocodone tablets that were not prescribed to him.
The case was dismissed July 14 after Taylor successfully completed his probation, court records show.
Taylor’s Facebook page states he graduated from Mansfield Summitt High School in 2014.