Alto officer involved in fatal shooting is back on administrative leave

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Texas Rangers have been investigating the Alto police officer-involved shooting that left Eric Griffin dead. The 48-year-old Alto resident was fatally shot by officer Brandon Smith. The Texas Rangers collected background information during the investigation, talked to witnesses last month, and reviewed the scene on Highway 69. Ranger Rudy Flores said he is still waiting on the final autopsy and toxicology report to conclude the investigation.

During a city council meeting Monday, Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson said officer Brandon Smith was brought back into the office last week for administrative duties but was not on the street for enforcement purposes. Residents said during the meeting they saw Smith in uniform riding along in a patrol car with the Alto Police Sergeant last week.

Herman Martin questioned Chief Jackson during the meeting about Smith being back at work when the investigation isn't over. "What is this Brandon doing riding and suited out on patrol if he's on administrative leave? What is he doing back on the street?"

Chief Jackson said he didn't realize Smith coming back to work would cause such a disturbance. "Since then he has been placed back on administrative leave and he will not be back even in the office," Jackson said.

Eric Griffin was Angela Jefferson's uncle. She was one of the few to speak at Monday's city council meeting.

"It's awful when you see your family member lying there on the ground. I was there before the first responders arrived," Jefferson said.

Those present at the meeting were not only witnesses to Smith back in office, but also to him fatally shooting Griffin.

"In my opinion I felt like the shooting was excessive, and I guess we'll just have to see what the reports come back as," Jefferson said.

Herman Martin said, "From the Texas Ranger's investigation I hope that they'll see it for what it was. It was a murder. That's what I hope they find in their investigation."

Reports from the final autopsy and toxicology report are the last pieces to the investigation that has so many puzzled.

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