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Off Duty Galveston Police Officer Involved in Shooting
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Off Duty Galveston Police Officer Involved in Shooting

Thursday evening, March 9th 2017, at approximately 6:20pm an off-duty Galveston Police Officer was leaving a residence with his family in the 1000 block of Ave J and observed a disturbance occurring only yards away. The officer then observed that one of the subjects involved in the disturbance was brandishing a firearm. The officer quickly separated himself from his family members and confront the armed suspect, identified as a white female. During this confrontation, the officer fired at the suspect, striking her. The female was transported to the John Sealy Emergency Room where she was later pronounced deceased.

The Galveston County Sherriff’s Office in conjunction with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office are currently conducting the investigation into the shooting and arrived on scene shortly after the incident to interview witnesses, canvas the area for other potential witnesses, and process the scene for forensic evidence.

As is standard with any investigation of this type, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave. The officer’s identity has not yet been released as of yet and the suspect’s identity will be released when all proper notifications have been confirmed to have been made.

 
LT Joshua Schirard



Woman shot by Galveston police officer dies


The shooting happened at 6:20pm as the officer was leaving his home with his family, according to Galveston Police.

The officer confronted the woman, who was allegedly holding a gun.

At one point, the off-duty officer shot the woman. She was rushed to UTMB Hospital, where she later died. The officer was not hurt.

The identity of the woman and the officer has not been released.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office is now investigating, searching for additional witnesses who may have seen the officer-involved shooting.

Deputies interviewed some witnesses shortly after the incident, according to police.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave, GPD said.


Comments:
I've released the following statement to the media with my consent to publish.
What started out as allowing Toni Jo Collins to spend the night at my house for a few days, turned into seven months. During that time, we had many long conversations lasting well into the night. Toni told me her entire life story. She told me of her hopes and dreams. She told me of the demons, and things that haunted her. I got to know Toni Collins extremely intimately.
Toni had a soft, sweet side to her. She would spend hours playing with my dog, and my cat. She would look up at me and say, " we're such a happy herd." Toni loved all animals, and children too. She would throw the ball, and play chase with neighborhood kids. She would always stop and talk to children, and try to make them feel special.
Toni had an interest in art and poetry. She loved to create. She enjoyed going to art walk. She liked mold making and casting figurines out of plaster. She was also interested in woodworking. She dreamed of building her own dollhouse, and even designed the furniture to go inside.
Toni liked to cook, and was always interested in trying new things. She kept a spotless house. The dishes were always washed, the laundry always done, rugs vacuumed, tile floors swept and mopped, and the tub and toilet were always scrubbed.
Toni's eyes would sparkle when she would talk of hope for the future, to have a loving family, clean home, a job, and to maybe have children someday. She dreamed of having a normal life, but she knew that she had to get clean and sober first. She tried very hard, going clean for four and five days at a time, week after week. Her demons were too much. Temptation was everywhere, and she struggled.
Toni's friend had bought her a bb gun for Christmas. It was a daisy red Ryder with a pink stock. She said that she had always wanted one ever since she was a little girl. When I first read of her being shot, and that she had a firearm, I prayed that her bb gun wasn't mistaken for a firearm.
After looking into Toni's shooting myself, I quickly learned that the initial statements given by the Galveston police department, in my opinion, were extremely misleading, and based on eyewitness accounts, some of it was false. To date, I have personally located, and spoken with four different people who claim to be eyewitnesses.
I have also personally seen photographs of the crime scene, taken by a civilian, that show Toni in the alley, with a piece of trash wood, laying next to her left side, that appears to be equivalent in size to a yardstick ruler. The stick appears to be about 1/4" thick, 36" long, and about 2" wide.
Based on witness statements personally given to me, firsthand intimate knowledge of Toni's behavioral patterns, misleading statements given by the police, and photographic evidence, i am convinced that the off duty officer violated Toni's civil rights prior to the shooting. He assaulted her, backed away, and when she stood up to defend herself, he shot her.
I never knew Toni to be physically aggressive. She was however, sometimes verbally aggressive. She was only 5' 4" tall and weighed 115 pounds. I don't believe that the off duty officer shot her in self defense. It's my belief that he shot her out of anger, or rage.
I would also like to add that when interviewing a witness at the crime scene with Toni's stepmother, her 68 year old, wheelchair bound companion was approached by a person claiming to have been with the sheriff's department for 22 years. He told her to caution us " to not be hanging around talking to people because someone might think that we are trying to stir something up." He also repeatedly tried to persuade her to tell him where she, and Mrs Collins were staying.
I affirm that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge and may be used in it's entirety for publication.
Brian Bludworth
Posted by R. Anderson at 4/10/2017 4:19:06 PM

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