Longview police remained mum Thursday about the fatal Wednesday shooting of a teen by an officer, declining to clear up rampant rumors surrounding the death of DeTravian Allison.
The family, led by Allison’s mother, also was not commenting Thursday, and a community leader said they have hired an attorney.
“I started getting calls around 7:30 this morning,” Longview NAACP President Winsell Coleman said. “But, you know what? They were all coming from different people with different stories with different points of view. ... They need to know; you can’t just jump on hearsay.”
Coleman said he had spoken with Allison’s mother and that she has retained legal counsel. He was not certain who that lawyer is.
“First of all, some people are saying the victim never had a gun, and there are some saying the victim never pointed the gun at the police,” Coleman said. “It just seemed like the shooting was unnecessary.”
Funeral services for Allison remained pending Thursday. A Gofundme fundraiser was posted online, to defray funeral costs and attorney bills for “our loved one,” the description on the page says, noting his mother is a single parent with a full-time job.
The fundraiser page also uses the name, DeTravian Kennedy, though Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson said his last name is Allison on his inquest forms.
Coleman said he had not heard the ethnicity of the officers who shot the 18-year-old black man. Police did not respond to an email seeking that and additional information.
The only information released by Longview police said officers were called at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday to a West Loop 281 business where an employee said a man had made threats before leaving in a car the employee described along with a license plate number.
That vehicle, which had been reported as stolen, was spotted within minutes at the Longview Square Apartments, 1600 Pine Tree Road. Two men were inside, and police said one of them pointed a pistol at officers, who fired on the man, striking him.
Allison was pronounced dead at 11:57 a.m. Wednesday by a doctor at Longview Regional Medical Center, Jameson said. The judge performed an inquest at 12:20 p.m.
Jameson did not have the preliminary autopsy report back as of Thursday afternoon, but he said it appeared Allison received several gunshot wounds.
“But which one was fatal and so forth, I can’t tell you,” the judge said.
The statement from police said the officers involved will be placed on paid administrative leave while the matter is investigated by the Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Gregg County Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-7867.
Coleman said he was hopeful for a thorough investigation, though he said the Rangers rarely find wrongdoing in officer-involved shootings.
“That’s telling you something, isn’t it?” he said. “Sounds like home cooking, doesn’t it?”
He also said no complaint had been filed with the NAACP, and so the chapter had no opinion on the shooting.
“We want to be part of the problem solving,” Coleman said. “But we do want to address times when we find out it’s wrong. If the police make mistakes, it will be proven true and addressed accordingly.”