Texas Police Officer Suspended After Reportedly Firing 41 Shots and Killing Unarmed Suspect

In Texas, Garland Officer Patrick Tuter reportedly fired 41 rounds at an unarmed man last month after a collision with the truck of Michael Vincent Allen (shown left). Now it appears that a dash-cam video contradicts what the police department first said in the case. Moreover, a witness has charged that police officers confiscated his phone and erased a video and pictures of the scene.

The confrontation occurred around midnight on August 31st after Tuter identified the white GMC pickup as the one involved in a prior chase with police. Joined by Dallas County sheriff’s deputies, Tuter pursued the truck for 30 minutes at speeds up to 100 mph and finally caught up to Allen in a cul-de-sac. Police claimed Allen collided with Tuter but the opposite appears true. Allen died with gunshot wounds and dog bites from a police dog.

Yet, Tuter’s attorney, John Snider, insists that the new information does not change the justification for force: “At some point, while trying to prevent the suspect from making an escape, Officer Tuter did feel in fear for his life and was justified in firing his weapon.”

Tuter’s 41 rounds, however, means that he had to reload and resume firing. No gun was found on Allen.

Allen was no angel to be sure, He had a long criminal record of arrests. However, the justification of not just the use of lethal force but the number of bullets has raised questions over the police response. There has long been a controversy over the use of semi-automatic weapons with large clips of ammunition. Critics charge that officers now fire more rounds and sometimes endanger both bystanders and fellow officers — as suggested in the recent shooting of pedestrians by police in New York.

One witness says that he took cellphone pictures and video of the scene but police confiscated the phone and deleted the video and pictures. The phone was returned four days later without the photos.
We have been discussing the trend of officers arresting citizens who film them in public. The alleged destruction of these photos raises obviously serious concerns over the destruction of evidence to protect a fellow officer. There also remains the question if it was Tuter who gave the false account of Allen hitting his car.

Tuter is reportedly on suspension. Yet, these allegations raise questions about his fellow officers, particularly with the destruction of the witness’ photos.

Source: Dallas News

40 thoughts on “Texas Police Officer Suspended After Reportedly Firing 41 Shots and Killing Unarmed Suspect

  1. He should be fired from the force. Whomever was involved in confiscating the citizen’s phone and erasing the property of that citizen should also be fired and charged with obstruction of justice and theft.

  2. The deputies who allegedly destroyed the evidence are going to be a a world of jeopardy if Officer Tutter is charged with Manslaughter in this death because I would opin they could be viewed as Accessories after the Fact and be guilty of rendering criminal assistance for the manslaughter.

  3. It is difficult for these type psychopaths to stop firing when they are having an orgasm and yelling whoopeee !!!!

    It’s the pig going down the road on a skateboard syndrome …

  4. Unfortunately, police in Texas have a long history or criminal activity and impunity. Even if it gets to a jury, I predict that in Garland, Texas, the cop will walk with no conviction on any charges. I would only be surprised if he doesn’t get a medal or commendation from the city. That is why I stay out of north Texas as much as I can.

  5. First, are there any standards for marksmanship? Forty-one rounds does not suggest proficiency.

    Second, for the lawyers, if the police copied the images and retained them for prosecution are they justified in keeping them from the public until action is taken? Related, are they justified for deleting them from the device before returning it to prevent their public exposure having a negative impact on a prosecution?

    Yes, I realize that the above may not be the real world but I still believe in honor and integrity.

  6. Andy, I don’t think you can say 41 shots shows poor marksmanship unless you know the circumstances, such as distance, size of target, target moving, shooter moving, etc. The important thing about 41 shots to me is that it takes some time to fire that many shots and requires re-loading. That makes it difficult to envision how the shooting was justified since the victim was unarmed. I mean, if the guy charged him, how do you have enough time to shoot 41 times? and if the guy isn’t trying to close with him, how do you reasonably fear for your life? As to deleting pics or video, I don’t see how that can possibly be justified, if true. I predict cops say either that it didn’t happen or pics didn’t show anything.

  7. I have never understood why a police department gets to investigate itself when a crime is alleged. Surely Texas has its own statewide police force, a la the Texas Rangers, who can provide an independent examination of the before the affected cops get to collect the evidence they deem important. maybe we need a unit of the FBI to handle these investigations.

  8. Waldo:

    how many clips in a cops 9mm? 7, 10, 14? At minimum it is 2 reloads at maximum 5. It could all be done in about 20 seconds or less if it was only 2 reloads.

  9. mespo, You’re correct, the Texas Rangers and maybe the FBI in a case like this. This isn’t some cop looking @ women’s boobs. And although tangential, the high speed chase is a real pet peeve of mine. They’re potentially much more dangerous for innocent bystanders and too often just testosterone run amuck.

  10. Waldo, good point on examining the situation and your other observations are valid, I would add, there was no return fire. I heard a quote from some legendary (aren’t they all) Texas Ranger who it was said carried the traditional “six shooter” something like, a large magazine is no substitute for poor shooting.

    As to my second point above another legal question. Are the police within their rights to sieze evidence from a third party (uninvolved) at a crime scene without a warrant to preserve the evidence?

  11. The person who took the videos SAW what happened. The video would be nice, but the witness can testify at the murder trial of the pig. The Law Engorcement Offenders defendants would be those who disposed of the camera photos as well as all in the shooting and cover-up. Why cant we all get along?

  12. 41 shots shows firing and reloading. Dog bites show backup. This is probably a manslaughter offense, done by an angry officer who had to chase the truck down. Whether he is ever charged or convicted is hard to say it being Texas, since no doubt the slain man’s reputation is being emphasized and the “rugged individualists” in Texas will think he had it coming anyway.

    As for the erasure of evidence, this common occurrence these days requires
    laws that penalize those LEO’s who do it. Fat chance though. I’ve driven through, or stayed in every State in the Continental U.S. except for Texas and Oklahoma and stories like this are why that’s the case.

  13. Can “he deserved it” be the first tale I was told as a child. Got a swig out of a jelly glass to wash it down with.

    “Minors, what’s that? He can stand on his own two feet, can’t he. Here, take another swig, boy.”

  14. OK, you know, you can see a constant diet of these insane adrenalin/testosterone orgies on TV and in the movies — high speed chases every 90 seconds, pedestrians and other drivers magically FLYING out of the way beeping their non-human irrelevant protests as the good guys chase down the bad guys and shoot-em-up and one of the good guys always takes a bullet in the shoulder or a coupla headslams to make it all work and so forth. Even kids see this crap on a daily basis and play video games exalting it like a good Little League game. Damn! The problem is that when we were watching the spaghetti westerns, we weren’t all wearing cowboy hats and ridin’ around on our trusty steeds and carryin’ our six-shooters. BUT NOW we are who we see on the screen and damn it, why NOT just go all out and DO IT MAN and get them punks and show’em what ferr?

    We are dangerous to ourselves and others.

  15. I’ve driven across Texas at least 4 or 6 times. It’s that monotonous landscape that gets you.

    But I never felt I was in dangerous country.
    Who say angels don’t take care of…..?

  16. “how many clips in a cops 9mm? 7, 10, 14? At minimum it is 2 reloads at maximum 5. It could all be done in about 20 seconds or less if it was only 2 reloads.”

    I grit my teeth and let the normal misuse of “clip” go unanswered (it’s a magazine, not a clip). But this one is twice removed from the actual meaning of the word. The word you were looking for is “rounds” or “cartridges”.

    As for capacity, most semi-autos used by police top out around 17 rounds (+1 in the chamber). I’m not aware of a handgun with a standard size magazine that holds 20 or 21 round magazines (though extended magazines are available in that size, I can’t imagine a police force using them though). Does anyone know of one with that capacity?

    So yeah, this guy reloaded at least once and possibly (probably?) twice.

  17. Captain Ratty is right. Nothing more than “suicide by cop”. Stroke of genius by whatever psychiatrist or psychologist dreamed up the term. Or, maybe it was just a clever officer in the officer’s guild.

    As for Andy, who still believes in “honor and integrity”; yes you are naive. I don’t believe that the cop will ever get charged let alone convicted. Afterall the best evidence was confiscated and destroyed. But if he was charged and I was defense counsel for the cop, I would certainly want Andy and his like minded brethern on the jury.

    Warm regards, Lexmanifesta

  18. Leo beo bo beo, banana nanna fo feo, LeeeeO.
    If the first two letters are ever the same,
    Ya drop them both and say the name ,
    Like bob fob etc
    -The Name Game

  19. As the brother of a unarmed young man shot and killed in Texas this appears to be business as usual in Texas. My brother wasn’t killed by the police but by the nephew of a Texas Ranger. When the trial occurred my mother and sister couldn’t be in the court room because it would be prejucdicial to the jury. Surprising none of the witnesses for the prosecution couldn’t be found although the majority of them lived around the corner from the police station and the defendant’s mother and his Sunday school class could be present. The defendant was acquited, self defense, even though my brother was inside the house and unarmed and no where near the defendant and was shot by the defendant from oustide the house. After being shot in the femora artery my brother died within minutes. His assailant never spent a night in jail.

  20. Tuter should bee suspended, alright.

    By a rope, in the form of a noose, after being convicted of murder.

    Unfortunately, the Clash were right. Murder is a crime…unless it is done by a policeman. There won’t be any serious punishment, despite the fact that Tuter deserves execution for what he did.

  21. I would be interesting in knowing how many magazines were used to fire 41 shots. There was no initial or return fire by the suspect? Files were deleted from witness phones? Possible false statements by the police? Does not surprise me it is Texas, but it could be anywhere.

  22. The details of this case will be watched carefully by many of us going forward. As a former Police Officer I am concerned with the very aggressive posture nationwide of those who are charged with the responsibility to serve and protect. This could be totally justified but it sounds like a real hard look needs to be taken. Also take a look at a case that is being officially covered up by the Penna. State Police. WorseThanRodneyKing.com

  23. Taser,

    Most departments use 9mm Glocks, although I do not know what that officer was carrying. Assuming he was using a standard issue Glock with either a 17 or 19 round magazine, he would have to have reloaded twice to fire 41 shots. With practice, it is easy to change magazines in one second or less.

    Cpl. Travis Thomasie, an Army firearms instructor, demonstrates with a standard issue Glock:

  24. lexmanifesta,

    I don’t know who in the hell pulled your string but i find your post offensive and your whole interpretation to be wrong. I asked some questions concerning the law that I thought some of the lawyers on the site might address. You might want me on your jury as I would, as much as anyone, evaluate evidence without bias, although I would suggest you not testify with your big mouth.

    with no regard,


  25. I live in Garland and have to say the cops here have their own aganda. My son was assulted at school, requiring him to have stapes in his head for minding his own business. I was told by the cop at the school.well you can press charges but I don’t our would do any good. Even even I had a bad wreck, the cop didn’t make sure we were okay, they just started talking to each other. I have to say they are not all this way but this city is all about money money money!

  26. Paul, interesting question.

    It has been posited that violence against wives was a way for the culture to allow brutal, angry, over-controlling men a “safety valve” so they would not use their violence against others in the street, on the job, etc. A frustrated angry guy could always go home and beat the missus instead, without fear of punishment from either her OR the society. When that began to change in the 70s, it appeared that there might have been an increase in public violence. I don’t know if this theory has been tested; I’m not a social scientist. But it’s worth a check-it-out.

    Anyway, the answer to “how does a wife go to bed with such a man?” is a very easy question to ask, very difficult to answer. A lot of it has to do with whether or not there are viable alternatives, resources, support, avenues of escape — it’s not as easy as it may sound. Like charity, violence begins at home.

  27. A real hard look needed to be taken a long time ago. This is nothing new for the Garland police department. You have to get in line to sue them. As for the officer not being a good shot he fired all those shots into the cab of a pickup never once hitting the passenger sitting beside him.

  28. What the hell is taking so long? Ask yourself, if you shot someone 41 times would it take this long before they decided to arrest you or not? And, what about the photos that the cop deleted of the CRIME SEAN that were illegally taken from a person who lives there and was in there own yard? TALK ABOUT A COVER UP! Are you people blind? Do you not see what is going on? The only reason it is taking this long is so their team of lawyers can get their stories straight and find a way to white wash this and save this cop from what should be murder charges.

  29. Even with Texas law that allows one to shoot in defense of property, I would not shoot any crook that number of times because a grand jury would probably return an indictment against a homeowner for doing something like that. So I think that a cop doing that has to be given less leeway in such an action since he is supposed to be trained and his job is to apprehend and deliver for trial such crooks.

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