ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Tuesday evening, an Angelina County jury decided not to press criminal charges against a Lufkin police officer who shot and killed a stabbing suspect in March.
Authorities have released the body camera footage from the night of the incident. It shows the account of an officer arriving to the scene of a man on top of another repeatedly stabbing him in the throat.
On Wednesday, Angelina County Sheriff Office Captain Alton Lenderman watched the officer's body camera footage released by Lufkin Police Department to explain how officers gauge various situations based on their training.
"In real life, you don't get redos. Whatever you did, you did. Whereas in a training incident you can stop and go, 'Well, you should've done that,' and nobody's hurt," Lenderman said.
Lenderman has 40 years of law enforcement experience under his belt.
"Of course, in this instance here, the officer knew of the assault in progress so it's pretty self-explanatory," Lenderman said. "What he's trying to do is let him see his hands because that's where weapons are held."
The captain explains the reason officers ask people in various situations to put their hands up is to gain control of the surroundings.
"If they don't comply with whatever commands we give them, then we take the appropriate action after that," Lenderman said.
In the Lufkin officer's case, he gave the suspect multiple chances to comply. But the suspect did not acknowledge the officer's presence and continued stabbing the victim before the officer fired the fourth shot to end the attack.
"That is a decision, of course, a lot of people don't understand that is made in a thousandths of a second," Lenderman said.
The captain said that in high-stress situations, the body goes through multiple emotional changes where there is a spike in adrenaline, and time slows down. That's where extensive training to manage the body comes into play, and some decisions may linger even after completion of an incident.
"A decision that you made in a thousandth of a second will be scrutinized sometimes months or even years," Lenderman said.
Lenderman said, above all, training is vital to making those decisions.
The officer involved in the shooting will return to duty next week.