Palestine, TX – The Palestine Police Department released video Tuesday afternoon showing the moments that led up to the fatal shooting of 47-year-old James Bushey on the evening of May 31. Sergeant Gabriel Green and Officer Kaylyn Griffin were the officers involved. The video was taken from the officers’ body cam and begins a few minutes prior to the fatal shooting when Green and Griffin had cornered Bushey inside the restroom at Palestine’s Applebee’s as part of their investigation into his theft of beer from the neighboring Walmart.”What do you need?” Bushey asks.
“You’re a suspect in reference to a theft case. I need you to step out please,” Sergeant Green says. “Don’t act dumb for me. Come on and step out. Okay? You’re on video.”As they escorted him out, Green and Griffin were already scanning for danger. Green knocked some knives sitting on a table and out of Bushey’s reach as they passed by.Outside, they officers tried to play it by the book.
“Do you have your ID on you sir?” Griffin asked Bushey.
Moments later, Bushey can be seen drawing what appears to be a handgun toward Officer Griffin. Sergeant Green immediately opened fire on the suspect. “It’s very unfortunate that the police officers were put in this position,” Palestine Police Captain James Muniz said Tuesday. “They felt that they had no choice but to defend themselves at that time.”Muniz praised the actions Green and Griffin took that night. He said any questions over the importance of body cameras were wiped away in the nine seconds it took for a theft investigation to turn into an officer-involved hooting.”[It’s important] to have a real personal look at exactly what an officer sees in real time and how quick
things happen,” he said.Bushey’s handgun turned out to be a pellet gun following a full nvestigation. It was styled to look like a 9mm handgun.
Officer Griffin and Sergeant Green were on paid administrative leave following the shooting. They have since returned to duty.