There were claims that he was standing with his hands up, but the new footage proves that wrong, the dashcam shows him quickly advancing on the deputy.
What really happened?
Police said that Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Cameron Brewer arrived on the scene when he saw Danny Ray Thomas wandering around in the street at an intersection, with his pants down around his ankles, at about 1 p.m. on March 22.
Witnesses told police that 34-year-old Thomas was talking to himself and hitting vehicles as they passed by him. Thomas then struck a vehicle and the driver got out and went after the man, according to the statement posted by the agency investigating the shooting, the Houston Police Department (HPD).
After seeing the altercation taking place between Thomas and the driver, Deputy Brewer stopped to intervene.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office released the dashcam video which showed that when the deputy got out of his patrol vehicle, Thomas began advancing toward him.
Deputy Brewer can be heard giving Thomas repeated commands to stop, but the man continued toward the deputy with no signs of slowing down.
“Fearing for his safety, the deputy discharged his duty weapon, striking Thomas once in the chest,” Houston police said in the statement.
Thomas was then transported to the hospital where he died.
Deputy Brewer was not injured, but as standard protocol was placed on administrative duty pending investigation.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated the Deputy did have a Taser with him at the time of the incident, but he didn’t use it.
“We are going to take this very seriously,” Sheriff Gonzalez said at a media briefing. “We are going to review all policies and procedures to see how we can continue to be better and learn from these situations.”
He said deputies are trained on to use nonlethal force, including dealing with anyone who might be mentally disturbed.
According to the family, Thomas had been suffering from severe depression after the murder of his five- and seven-year-old children at the hands of their mother Sheborah Thomas who drowned both children in a bathtub in 2016.
She is awaiting trial on capital murder charges.
New videos emerge of Thomas advancing on the deputy
The initial video released of the incident was filmed by on a mobile phone by a witness who was across the street.
At first, the woman filming on her phone can be heard joking and laughing about how Thomas is about to get Tased.
However, a vehicle blocks the view of Thomas – and then the gunshots are heard.
The second video released shows a short clip of what exactly happened right before Deputy Brewer fired that fatal shot.
Filmed on Snapchat, it shows Thomas advancing on the deputy.
HPD’s Homicide Division Special Investigations Unit and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are continuing to investigate the incident, The New York Times reported.
Watch the dashcam video released by the sheriff’s department here:
Watch the video filmed from across the street here:
#BREAKING Video obtained by the @HoustonChron shows the death of Danny Ray Thomas after he was shot by a Harris County deputy Thursday. No weapon was recovered at the scene, officials said. #hounews #breakingnews
— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) March 24, 2018
Watch the Snapchat video of Thomas approaching Deputy Brewer here: