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Police: Officer shot at driver after driver lunged through open car window toward officer

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 22:51:34-05

KILLEEN, TX — The Killeen Police Department says one of their officers fired at a driver after the driver lunged out of the car window toward the officer during a traffic stop.

Police said that on Feb. 18, at approximately 10:15 p.m., Officer Devonte Johnson conducted a traffic stop in the area of Veteran's Memorial and Conder Street.

During the stop, Officer Johnson observed "furtive" movement from the two occupants of the car. As he approached the car, Officer Johnson began talking with the driver, identified as 29-year-old Paris Lamar Hunter.

As Officer Johnson approached Hunter, Hunter partially opened his car door and Officer Johnson closed the door. KPD says the officer explained his reason for the stop and observed marijuana remnants on both of the occupants.

Officer Johnson repeatedly told both Hunter and the passenger, later identified as 23-year-old Morgan Alexandria Cleveland, to keep their hands where he could see the,. KPD says Officer Johnson continued with multiple commands to Hunter, asking him to place his hands on the steering wheel and to turn off the vehicle.

During the commands, Hunter opened the door a second time and Officer Johnson pushed it closed. KPD says Hunter was told multiple times to place his hands on the steering wheel and Cleveland was told to place her hands on the dash in front of her.

KPD says due to Hunter and Cleveland not complying with commands, Officer Johnson radioed dispatch to have backup sent immediately. As a backup unit approached with its sirens and lights on, Hunter lunged his body through the opened driver side window towards Officer Johnson.

Officer Johnson stepped back and discharged his duty weapon, striking Hunter once in the upper left shoulder.

KPD says the backup officer arrived, called for EMS and immediately began first aid on Hunter. EMS arrived and transported Hunter to Baylor Scott & White in Temple.

During medical treatment, medical staff located and removed a baggie with suspected crack cocaine wedged between his buttocks.

KPD says a search of the vehicle revealed a handgun and suspected narcotics, including crack cocaine, marijuana and MDMA (ecstasy). The identification of the narcotics is pending lab results.

On Thursday, February 22, a complaint was issued by the Bell County District Attorney's Office charging Hunter with possession of a controlled substance over 4 grams under 200 grams.

Cleveland was arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Harris County for prostitution, failure to identify as a fugitive and possession of marijuana under 2 ounces.

Officer Johnson has been with the department for 3 years.

KPD says an investigation is still ongoing by the Texas Rangers. KPD's Internal Affairs Unit continues its administrative review.