MESQUITE, Texas -- Six days after a Mesquite police officer shot him, Lyndo Jones has been released from Baylor Hospital after being shot in the stomach and back.
His family and his attorneys are questioning why the unarmed Jones was shot last Wednesday when police responded to a possible car burglary in the 1300 block of South Town East Boulevard. It turns out the truck Jones was in belonged to him, and his car alarm was malfunctioning.
“That truck was his. How can you burglarize your own car?” said his attorney Justin Moore.
Law enforcement sources also said there are significant concerns about the officer-involved shooting.
Jones, 31, is in critical but stable condition in the hospital. Earlier, he was handcuffed to his bed and was being guarded by sheriff’s deputies because Mesquite police have filed a charge of evading arrest, a Class B misdemeanor. They have since dropped the charge, hours after police said he faced charges.
Mesquite police also identified the officer who shot him as Derick Wiley. He is a 10-year-veteran of the department. He is on paid administrative leave and will soon be interviewed by criminal investigators.
The police shooting is being investigated by Mesquite police and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
“He didn’t deserve what happened to him at all,” said Tierra Burns, the mother of one of his two children. “For somebody to do something like that to him for no reason, it's hurtful.”
Mesquite police answered questions about the shooting on Tuesday, but released no new details about why or how it happened.
Lt. Brian Parrish, a police spokesman, said officers were responded to the report of a possible burglary. When the officer arrived on the scene, he made contact with the individual in the truck.
“An altercation, a scuffle began and the individual ended up being shot,” said Parrish.
Parrish said Jones was being detained because police were investigating a possible car burglary. They said Jones tried to run and that's why he's charged with misdemeanor evading arrest. He said it took three officers to subdue Jones.
“He was actively trying to stand up and get out of the area,” said Parrish.
Jones’ attorneys met with him twice in recent days. They contend the shooting was not justified. They are demanding to see dash cam and body cam video from the incident.
“Within 10 seconds of their arrival, he had been shot it the stomach,” said Lee Merritt, another of Jones’ attorneys. “While on the street suffering from his wound, officers attempted to perform a cavity search and he reacted to that, and he was shot a second time in this back.”
His attorneys are angry that Mesquite police issued a statement last week that never mentioned that the truck actually belonged to Jones.
“That was not a mistake,” Merritt said. “That was an intentional misrepresentation to the public.”
They also were furious because Mesquite police investigators interviewed Jones on Tuesday about the shooting without them being present. They said his constitutional rights to counsel were violated.
Moore was escorted out of the hospital “forcibly” by hospital security after he arrived at the hospital and tried to stop the interview, he said.
Parrish said investigators did nothing wrong and Tuesday was the first time they were able to interview Jones.
“When my investigators spoke to this individual in the hospital today, it was consensual, and it was in reference to him being shot,” Parrish said. “It was not in reference to any offense that he may or may not have been responsible for.”
Moore and Merritt said they are now seeking to get the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to drop the charges against their client.
Moore said Jones’ condition is steadily improving.
“He’s thankful to be alive,” he said. “A lot of these cases don’t end up to where the person that was shot is still living.”
None of Jones’ family has been allowed to see him. Sheriff officials said he is a prisoner, and it would be a security risk to allow family into his hospital room.
“We have a child together, and she hasn't seen her in a whole week and he loves his daughter,” Burns said through tears. “He's always loved his daughter.”
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