Family and friends remember Alto man killed in officer involved shooting

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Nearly 200 family members and friends stood with candles in hand on an empty lot remembering the Alto man who was killed earlier this week.

"I was shocked, sadden. But especially the family, they're really hurting," said Pamela Black, family friend.

48-year -old James Eric Griffin was fatally shot by Alto police officer Brandon Michael Smith on Thursday.

Black planned Saturday night's vigil and says she hopes justice is served.

"I just feel like it was an over kill." said Black.

According to a DPS spokesperson, Griffin attempted to rob the Pick N' Go convenience store,

Smith confronted Griffin on Highway 69 where an exchange took place.

"Regardless of the situation I don't think he should have been killed and I don't I think he should have been killed like that." said Black.

Pastor Fredrick Shaw spoke at the memorial and he says he hopes the loss will unite the Alto community.

"The shooting is very tragic, what happened here in the community and I pray that the community will come together." said Shaw.

Shaw says following the shooting everyone is paying closer attention to the city's law enforcement.

"We'll pay more attention to what's going on in the community and what's going as far as law officials." Shaw

But for now the focus is on Griffin, celebrating the life of a man who many call loving, kind and most importantly, friend.

"You see Eric would always have a smile, he was just a pleasant person to be around." said Black.

And that's how he'll always be remembered.

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