Lufkin, TX – A man suspected of kidnapping and drug offenses was shot by police on Monday night, after he grabbed an officer’s Taser cartridge and tried to take two officers’ duty weapons, bodycam footage showed (video below).
Police had been on the lookout for 26-year-old Todd Sturgis since August.
That's when he had fled from officers in Tarrant County as they attempted to apprehend him on outstanding warrants for evading arrest, delivery of a controlled substance, and kidnapping, the agency said in a press release.
Sturgis was charged with an additional evading arrest offense after he managed to get away from officers during that incident.
On Monday night, Lufkin police received a tip that Sturgis was holed up at apartment 207 at the Pinewood Park Apartment complex.
When the officers arrived at the residence, a woman “initially denied knowing Sturgis’ location,” but eventually allowed police to search the apartment, the agency said.
Bodycam footage showed the officers as they entered a dark bedroom with their Tasers drawn.
“Show me your hands,” one officer calmly directed over and over.
“Don’t be digging!” he then told Sturgis, who was seen lying on his side on the floor between a doorway and the foot of a mattress as the lights were suddenly turned on.
The second officer quickly swapped his Taser for his duty weapon, and covered Sturgis with his gun while the first officer moved in with his Taser, the video showed.
Sturgis shoved his hands beneath the top mattress and out of the officers’ view, despite their repeated commands to comply.
“F–k you, b—h! You gonna have to kill me today, b—h!” Sturgis replied, shoving the mattress upward as he reached far beneath it. “F–k that s–t, b—h.”
Sturgis then began to wiggle beneath the bed frame, at which point one of the officers lifted both the box spring and the mattress off of him.
Sturgis reached up and managed to pull the cartridge from the officer’s Taser, police said.
He then rose to his feet and lunged towards the second officer, grabbing for his gun, the video showed.
“The suspect grabbed one officer’s Taser and then grabbed at another officer’s gun, before being tased by two other officers,” Lufkin Police Chief David Thomas explained in the video release.
“Alright, alright, alright,” Sturgis said as he laid on his back on the floor, the video showed.
“The suspect then pretended to comply, but attacked the cover officer by grabbing the officer’s handgun,” Chief Thomas said.
Bodycam footage showed Sturgis as his suddenly shot up into a sitting position and grabbed onto the officer’s duty weapon, pulling it towards his own abdomen.
A single shot then rang out.
“The officer fired one round, striking the suspect in the stomach area,” Chief Thomas said.
“He shot me!” Sturgis declared, as he wailed and screamed on the floor. “F–k that s–t!”
The officers were then able to place him into handcuffs so he could be transported to the hospital.
Chief Thomas said that Sturgis “is expected to recover.”
One officer suffered a minor fracture due to one of the Taser barbs becoming lodged in his finger, the department said.
The officer who shot Sturgis has been placed on paid administrative leave until the Texas Rangers complete their investigation into the incident.
His identity will be released once he has provided his statement to investigators, the department said.
The video was released “to further our effort of transparency,” Chief Thomas said on Tuesday.
“We have worked hard to maintain the support of the public, and appreciate you taking time to see the facts for yourselves,” he added.
In addition to his litany of outstanding warrants, Sturgis has also been charged with resisting arrest and two counts of disarming a peace officer.
You can watch bodycam footage of the incident below: