KATC Investigates

Feb 20, 2014 11:49 PM by Erin Steuber

Family Frustrated Officer Not Held Accountable for Son's Death

More than two years after their son was shot and killed by a police officer, his parents are frustrated no one is being held accountable.

21-year-old Quamaine Mason was shot and killed by a Lafayette Police Corporal at Campus Crossing Apartments in December of 2011. Officers were responded to a 911 call about a disturbance, and later, an armed robbery in progress. Months later a grand jury cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, but the Masons are continuing to fight a federal wrongful death suit that ruled in favor of the police department. Now, that the case is closed, and we're getting the first look, and listen, of the events that took place that December night.

Dispatcher: "This is 911 can I help you? (screaming...)."

That chaos, and screaming, lasted an entire minute as dispatchers were trying to figure out what was going on. No one knew just minutes later Quamaine Mason would be shot dead by one of the responding officers. Mason was picking up his dog from his ex girlfriend's apartment when he found two men inside. That's when the night took a turn for the worst.

Dispatcher: "He came to get the dog, and when they gave him the dog, he busted through."

At 9:24 PM the caller was transferred to police dispatch.

Dispatcher: "Lafayette City Police this is Dawn..."

Moments later two different dispatchers went out over the radio, one calling it an armed robbery, the other a disturbance.

Responding Officer: "I came out the car after I got my dog and stuff and had my gun in my hand."
Trooper: "And why was that?"
Officer: "Because it was an armed robbery in progress."

This responding officers confronted Mason and his girlfriend outside.

Girlfriend: "The cops came with their guns and everything. I jumped in between them and said leave him alone, leave him alone. I was trying to calm everyone down because, to me, the cops overreacted."

By 9:27 PM, just three minutes later, things turned deadly.

On scene: "shots fired, shots fired."

At that point, the stories begin to vary. But what is clear, from the police report and witness statements, mason was armed and his hand moved toward the gun in his waistband.

Girlfriend: "The only reason he reached for his gun was to try and put it down. He wanted to be a cop. He applied to be a state policeman."

According to records, Mason had no record and had the gun legally.

Trooper: "During this whole shooting incident, while you were firing shots, what was the girlfriend doing?
Officer: "She was screaming. I remember her saying 'stop' clear as day, but I remember thinking to myself 'stop my a**. M******* is trying to kill me.' You know I didn't have to think about it, I knew."

The investigation revealed the officer shot Mason a total of 8 times; 7 shots to the back, and one to the face.

Girlfriend: "He got hit in the chest, the shoulder, and even whenever he was already down on his stomach, the cop kept shooting at him."

Reports say the shots were fired from about three feet away. The officer continued to shoot because he claims Mason was trying to roll over and reach for his gun.

Officer: "I remember coming up to the back of his head and looking ,and waiting, like a bad movie where this dude won't stop. Then when he did stop, I said alright because that would have been my next shot, behind his head."
Trooper: "Did you feel threatened anymore?"
Officer: "I was still waiting for him to jump up at anytime but no he didn't."

A federal judge could reverse the initial ruling where the shooting was found to be justified. That hearing will be held March 15th. The Masons argue more evidence needs to be scrutinized. According to Lafayette Police, the officer who shot Quamaine Mason is still actively employed with the department. LPD declined any further comment about the case.

 

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