Dash cam video shows Alto man charge at police officer with machete

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - One of the final pieces of the puzzle has finally been revealed six months after an Alto man was shot and killed by a police officer.

KTRE News obtained the police car dash cam video from the night James Eric Griffin, 48, was shot by Alto police officer Brandon Michael Smith.

Police say Griffin tried to steal a pack of cigarettes from an Alto Pic-N-Go on January 23, 2013. In convenience store video KTRE obtained in April, you can see Griffin pull a 3-foot machete out of his pants after the store owner confronts him.

"He pulled out his machete and he said he was going to cut me," store clerk Amad Meaye said in the 911 call.

That's when Smith was dispatched to the scene.

In the dash cam video, Griffin is seen pulling out the machete as he walks towards Smith.

"Woah woah woah, put that knife down!" Smith says.

Griffin walks out of the frame in the video, but you can hear eight rounds fired. Smith is later seen backing up his car as he calls for backup. It takes eight minutes before help arrives.

This case has been very controversial because many people believe it was a murder.

"I hope they'll see it for what it was. A murder," Herman Martin, an Alto resident, said in a March interview.

Witnesses also told KTRE News in January that Smith shot Griffin down violently.

"I see the police shoot this man once and he had fell. He started backing up and as he was backing up he started shooting him again," Randall Frances said in a January interview.

But despite the unveiling of the truth, a family has lost a loved one, and now they can finally find some peace.

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