ME report released in death of man shot by Dallas officer

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by MARJORIE OWENS

WFAA

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 31 at 10:05 PM

DALLAS - A suspect who was fatally shot during a foot chase with a Dallas officer was not shot in the back, according to the medical examiner's report released one week after the shooting.

James Harper, 31, was shot in the left side of his chest, right and left side of his abdomen and the posterior of his left elbow, read the report.

The incident began after a false 911 call was made to a house in the 5300 block of Bourquin Street. The caller said he witnessed someone being kidnapped at the house, which authorities later determined to be untrue.

Once officers arrived at the scene, they confronted four men they said were sitting near a gun inside the house. While one suspect was apprehended, a statement released by police said the other three med fled, leading to a foot chase between Officer Brian Rowden and suspect Harper.

Rowden said Harper attacked him several times throughout the chase, including kicking him in the chest and injuring his arms as he attempted to handcuff the suspect. According to the statement, Harper told Rowden several times the officer would have to kill him, and kept his hand on his pocket, leading the officer to believe Harper was armed with a gun he had seen picked up off the table in the residence.

Police said the officer feared for his life when he shot Harper. In addition to the man taken into custody at the house, the other two men that allegedly fled the residence were eventually apprehended.

In addition to the drugs and guns found inside the residence on Bourquin Street, police said detectives recovered nine cell phones, four digital scales and a partial drug ledger. They also found $437 in Harper's right front pants pocket.

The shooting led to an emotional and frustrated crowd gathering last Tuesday concerned that Harper was not armed. Many in the crime-riddled Dixon Circle area initially believed Harper may have been shot in the back.

"My nephew got shot in the back and then you can't tell his mother nothing," shouted a tearful woman who was among those who gathered while officers lined the street.

At one point, an officer shot off several rounds of pepper-ball to disperse the crowd.

Keenan Johnson, 26, was later arrested for allegedly making the bogus call that led police to the house. According to police, Johnson had  injuries consistent with a violent assault, although he did not report the incident when it happened.

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