Deputies shoot driver pointing flashlight at them during traffic stop, Texas cops say

Deputies shot a driver during a traffic stop after he pointed a flashlight at them, Texas authorities said.

Two deputies noticed a van driving past a stop sign near an intersection in Amarillo while on patrol early Aug. 22, according to a news release from the Randall County Sheriff’s Office. They then switched on their emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop, deputies said.

The van kept driving for about two blocks before the driver stopped and “quickly exited” the vehicle despite being told to remain inside, deputies said.

The unidentified driver then pointed a lit flashlight in the direction of the deputies, who perceived it as a threat, the news release said. In response, the deputies fired three shots at the driver, striking him once in the groin area, authorities said.

“Deputies secured a passenger in the van and immediately rendered first aid to the suspect,” the release said. “Other deputies and Amarillo Police Department Officers responded to the scene to assist.”

An ambulance took the driver to Northwest Texas Hospital, where he was treated for “a non-life-threatening injury,” deputies said.

The two deputies involved, neither of whom were identified, were placed on administrative leave in accordance with the Randall County Sheriff’s Office policies.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident.

Amarillo is about 360 miles northwest of Dallas.

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