AP NEWS

PORT ARTHUR Family watches video of shooting

March 7, 2019

It’s a scenario few people know how to prepare for — watching a member of your family be shot to death. But that’s exactly what members of Shayne Lyons’ family had to do Wednesday night while waiting to watch body cam footage from a late December officer-involved shooting.

They expected to receive closure from the film, said Andre Molo, Lyons’ brother. Instead, they were left with more questions than answers.

Lyons, 35, was killed after he refused to drop a large weapon and advanced toward an officer despite repeated commands from police, officers said at the time.

A Jefferson County grand jury late last month declined to take action against the officer, whose name still has not been released.

After watching the body cam footage, Molo said it wasn’t what he expected to see and not what police initially told them.

Police Chief Tim Duriso did not make himself available for comment.

Molo said the officer got out of his patrol car with his gun drawn and shouted several “vulgar” commands at Lyons ordering him to drop the machete he was carrying. Molo questioned why the officer didn’t try to talk to Lyons and ask why he had a machete or what was going on.

When Lyons did not drop the machete, the officer fired eight shots, Molo said. He also noted that he didn’t see Lyons advance on the officer or raise the machete.

“It made me sick to my stomach,” he said. “I wanted to throw up. I wanted to throw up literally.”

Lyons’ mother, Paula Singleton, said the video made clear in her eyes that the shooting wasn’t justified. She said if the officer had shot Lyons in the leg or the shoulder, her child likely would be here.

“I’m just empty inside right now,” she said. “They took something from me that I’ll never get back.”

She also said the officer shouldn’t be let back on the force.

Molo said Duriso said the officer is not yet back to work, and the Port Arthur Police Department’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The family will be back at the Police Department this evening so the rest of the family can view the footage. A protest planned for this afternoon is on hold while the family determines whether the department can answer their lingering questions and decide what’s next.

Singleton said Lyons’ family will continue to fight for justice for her son.

The officer “can’t get my son back, but they can do some time for what he’s done,” she said.

Molo said Duriso told him the police department would release the body cam footage to those who formally requested it after the family watched it.

kaitlin.bain@beaumont

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