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Family of elderly man shot and killed by Beaumont police officer - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Family of elderly man shot and killed by Beaumont police officer demands third party investigation

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BEAUMONT - Attorneys representing the family of Stanley Leger said they have evidence that contradicts reports about Leger's fatal shooting at the hands of police.  They made the comment at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon.

The 80-year-old taxidermist was shot and killed last week by a Beaumont police officer. A Police spokesperson said the officer was forced to shoot Leger after Leger refused to lower his rifle and raised it at police.

"We're asking that y'all report our version of the facts," said attorney David Bernsen, who, along with his son Cade Bernsen, are representing the Leger family in their fight for answers.

The Bernsens said the man and woman who had been leasing a rental home from Leger on East Lucas Drive had caused nearly $20,000 of damage over the past month. David Bernsen showed pictures of walls in the home with gaping holes.
     
Attorneys say Leger was in the process of trying to evict the tenants, when the tenants began threatening to kill Leger and his wife Flora on more than one occasion.
     
“They called and left threatening messages on the Legers' phone saying 'We will blow your brains out'," said Cade Bernsen.

Attorneys provided a police report filed by Leger against his tenants. The date on the report indicates it was filed 8 days before the officer-involved shooting that claimed Leger’s life.

“The Legers did everything they could to protect themselves and to protect their property,” said Cade Bernsen.

Police say on the evening of June 24, Leger fired a single shot from outside his home on Galveston Street across East Lucas Drive in the direction of the female tenant as she was getting her mail. Attorneys say Leger never shot at anyone.   

“Mr. Leger, out of frustration, may have fired a .22 rifle into the air, there are witnesses that have attested to that," said Cade Bernsen.

Police also say that when officers responded, Leger refused to put down his rifle, and even raised it toward officers.

“We have now interviewed witnesses that said that did not happen… he never pointed the gun at Beaumont police officers," said Cade Bernsen.

Bernsen says surveillance video from security cameras on Leger's property confiscated by police may be crucial to finding out what exactly happened.

“We want the videos, we believe the family has the right to see those videos."

The Bernsens said they would be filing charges against the tenants in the rental home for the damage done to the property. They are also going to work on evicting the tenants from the home, but as of Wednesday, no one knows where they are, as nobody has seen or heard from them since the day of the shooting.

Beaumont Police Chief Jim Singletary responded to the press conference by telling 12News, “We are willing to cooperate with the Bernsen Law Firm. We have turned the investigation over to the District Attorney's office, and based on advice from our legal team, we're not going to comment any further at this time."

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