UPDATED: 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 18, 2017
At the request of 28th District Attorney General Garry Brown, TBI Agents continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting that occurred Thursday afternoon near Alamo.
Preliminary information indicates the incident began shortly around 2:15 PM CST, when a subject, identified as Rodney James Hess (DOB 4-6-80, of New Orleans, LA), parked his SUV on the off ramp from Highway 412 East to Highway 88 East perpendicular to traffic. A Crockett County deputy responded to the scene and determined he needed back-up support. Several additional officers soon arrived to the scene and reported the subject was refusing officer commands and making erratic statements. At one point, preliminary information indicates Hess attempted to use his vehicle to strike the officers at least twice. During the escalation of events, at least one Crockett County deputy fired his service weapon through the front windshield of the vehicle driven by Hess, striking him.
Hess subsequently died from his injuries, after being airlifted to The Med in Memphis. No law enforcement officers sustained injuries in the incident.
The TBI is aware portions of this incident may have been streamed live via Facebook. At this time, the TBI cannot confirm the authenticity of the video, but, as with anything that might potentially be evidence, we will examine it further to determine if it has benefit to the case.
The TBI currently has a team of Agents and Forensic Scientists working to gather any and all relevant details. In turn, and throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration. In this and all investigations, the TBI acts only as fact-finders. The decision as to whether the deputy’s actions were justified rests solely with the District Attorney General.
Per TBI policy, the agency does not identify the law enforcement officers involved in these types of incidents, and instead refers questions of that nature to their respective departments.
Should it become available, additional information in this ongoing investigation will be updated on this post.