PUBLISHED: 22:27 EST, 4 June 2012 | UPDATED: 22:52 EST, 4 June 2012
A 21-year-old man who was fatally wounded during a weekend traffic stop was armed and struggling with an officer when he was shot in the back, according to Dallas police.
Police issued a statement that said John Robert Husband III was stopped after turning into an apartment complex without a signal on Saturday evening in the Oak Cliff section of southwest Dallas. Two other people also were in the car.
The statement said Officer Leland Limbaugh reported smelling marijuana smoke as he walked toward the car, and when Husband stepped outside on Limbaugh’s orders, the officer saw a handgun stuck in Husband’s waistband.
Shot dead: Police issued a statement that said John Robert Husband III was stopped after turning into an apartment complex without a signal on Saturday evening in the Oak Cliff section of southwest Dallas
Limbaugh grabbed for Husband’s hands and tried to place them behind his back, telling Husband not to grab for the gun, according to police. Limbaugh said Husband ignored the command, began to struggle and reached for his gun.
Police said Limbaugh, fearing for his own life, shot Husband once near the left shoulder blade.
Husband died at a nearby hospital a short time later. The two other people in the car were questioned and released, police said.
‘Officer Limbaugh, fearing for his life, fired one shot with his left hand that struck suspect Husband near the left shoulder blade,’ the Dallas Police Department posted to their Facebook page.
Fatal: The police officer shot husband once in the back. The 21-year-old died at hospital a short time later.
‘Suspect Husband staggered and fell to the ground and the officer then took the suspect’s weapon, a fully loaded .40 caliber handgun, and placed it on the hood of the police vehicle while waiting for backup officers to arrive.
‘When the backup officers arrived, the two additional occupants of the suspect vehicle were removed and suspect Husband was handcuffed.’
Limbaugh’s patrol car was not equipped with a dashboard video camera. The officer has been placed on special assignment pending an internal investigation.
But Husband’s family dispute the account given by police. Xavier Bryant, 22, and Derrick Epps, 26, who were also in the vehicle said their friend did not try to pull out a gun.
‘He never pulled out no gun, I sat there watching him the whole time,’ Bryant told NBC.
Fox reported that Bryant and Epps allegedly heard the officer yell at Husband: ‘Don’t move or I’ll shoot you again.’
A message left by The Associated Press at a phone number listed for one of the witnesses for additional comment wasn’t immediately returned on Monday. No phone number was listed for the other passenger. A call to a number listed for a John Robert Husband in Dallas reached a voice mail system that had not been activated.
Controversial: Xavier Bryant, 22, (left) and Derrick Epps, 26, (right) who were also in the vehicle said their friend did not try to pull out a gun