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TPD officer accused of shooting man in head, killing him identified

Temple police have not said what led DeCruz to shoot and kill Dean.

TEMPLE, Texas — Editor's note: The video in this story is from Dec. 3, 2019.

The officer accused of shooting a man to death in Temple was identified Tuesday.

Michael Dean, 28, was shot in the head and killed on Dec. 2.

Temple Police Officer Carmen DeCruz was identified as the officer involved, the department said.

The shooting was reported at 8:12 p.m. near the intersection of Loop 363 and Little River Rd.

It is unclear what led DeCruz to shoot and kill Dean.

An officer told Dean’s mother, Christine Dean, about the shooting, but she said she and the family still have questions.

"They should have had a definite explanation for us and not a bunch of 'I don't knows,'" Dean said. "I just want to know what happened to my son that caused him not to be with us anymore.”

Attorney Lee Merritt held a press conference with the family on Friday afternoon in front of the Bell County Justice Center.

DeCruz was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

DeCruz, who has been with TPD for nine years, was not injured in the incident, according to the department.

When 6 News requested a picture of Cruz, Temple spokesman Chris Christoff said in an email that an open records request would need to be submitted with City Secretary’s Office and that according to Texas Local Government Code 143.090, the officer did not authorize TPD to release his photo.

"You will need to submit an open records request with the City Secretary’s Office for his photo. Pursuant to Texas Local Government Code 143.090, the officer did not authorize TPD to release his photo.

"The Law states that a department, commission, or municipality may not release a photograph that depicts a police officer unless:

"(1) the officer has been charged with an offense by indictment or by information;

"(2) the officer is a party in a civil service hearing or a case before a hearing examiner or in arbitration;

"(3) the photograph is introduced as evidence in a judicial proceeding;  or

"(4) the officer gives written consent to the release of the photograph."

"My son was not a criminal. He loved everybody and everything and he loved life," Dean said Friday.

According to arrest records, Michael Dean was arrested for misdemeanor offenses, but he had not been arrested since 2017.

Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation.

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