RAW VIDEO: Alto man pulls machete, 2 others try to open register

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Newly obtained surveillance video shows an Alto man pull a machete out of his pants while stealing cigarettes, moments before he was shot to death by a police officer.

What happened after that, however, may not have been known to the public.

The video shows the store clerk go outside to call 911 and then two witnesses to the incident apparently working together to get cash out of the register at the Pick 'n Go.

During the 911 call, clerk Amad Meaye said, "One guy came into the store. He asked for the cigarettes. I bring the cigarettes. He pulled out his machete and said he was going to cut me."

Officer Brandon Smith shot James Eric Griffin to death following the robbery on US 69 in Alto on Jan. 23.

In audio recordings of interviews, also obtained through an open records request, witnesses said Griffin was coming after Smith with the long machete and Smith shot him several times before Griffin died.

The video shows Griffin in the store with two other customers with the store clerk, Amad Meaye. Meaye gives Griffin a pack of cigarettes and Griffin begins to walk away. Then Meaye makes a motion demanding the money before Griffin reaches into his pants and pulls a machete out of his pants.

Meaye then walks out of the store to call 911 and leaves the other two customers in the store.

The other two customers then appear to try to get into the cash register, one wearing a plaid shirt walks over to a camera and begins to shake it. The other, wearing a tan hat, starts poking at a cash register.

The two appear to not have had success getting any cash and leave the store when it appears the two both seem to notice what's going on down 69 toward wells with Griffin and officer Smith.

The customer in the blue shirt, is 26-year-old Emmanuel Milton who was hanging out at the store before and after Griffin showed his black 3 foot machete. He gave a statement to deputy Heather Jones roughly half an hour after Griffin took the cigarettes.

"We was down there at the store," Milton said.

"Who is we?" Deputy Jones asked.

"Me and  {inaudible} or whatever, so Trag came in, we call him Trag, he came in. He was like man I want a pack of cigarettes. And then he walked off with the cigarettes. And I was like hey man he off his meds; I'll pay for the cigarettes," Milton said.

KTRE obtained witness interviews, a 911 call and store surveillance video through an open records request.

In witness interviews, a woman said Griffin came after Smith with the machete and Smith kept shooting him until he stopped. Another witness said he witnessed the shooting and told Smith he would stick around "in case you need a witness."

Officers with DPS and Alto Police have been unavailable to confirm if there is a separate criminal investigation into the apparent attempted theft.

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