An Asian American cop called to check on the welfare of a “Black female” passed out in a Dallas suburb ended up shooting and killing the woman after aiming at a dog near her.
Margarita “Maggie” Brooks, however turned out to be the homeless daughter of Troy Brooks, a captain at the Arlington Fire Department, according to NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
“Our family is in absolute shock over Maggie’s senseless death,” Brooks said in a statement he released to KXAS through his attorney. “The circumstances of her death make it that much harder to accept. There are no words to describe our deep pain.”
The incident that led to Margarita Brooks’ death happened Aug. 1 after a white man noticed a woman he thought was a “Black female” laid out in a grassy area near the intersection of Cantor Drive and North Collins Street and called police.
Arlington police Chief Will Johnson said during a news conference Aug. 2 that the officer in question showed up along with city firefighters and emergency response workers.
The officer can be seen in body camera footage approaching the 911 caller and confirming where he had seen the “Black female.”
“As the officer began walking towards the woman, he could see that she was lying in the grass,” Johnson said during the news conference. “The officer also noticed a dog on the sidewalk.”
“Are you OK,” the officer can be heard asking the woman in the footage.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she responded.
“Is that your dog,” the officer followed. “Can you get… Get back!”
At that point, the dog can be seen running toward the officer. In response, he fired three shots, according to the video footage.
“Oh my God,” the woman screamed.
She was hit in the upper torso and taken to an Arlington medical center, where she died, Johnson said.
The 25-year-old officer who shot her had completed academy training in February and was released from supervised patrol duty on July 1, the chief said.
In the officer’s training, he received an eight-hour course on “canine encounters” in February.
He had earlier joined the department in 2012 as a detention officer before he transitioned into a recruit officer in July 2018, Johnson said.
Investigators think the dog, which Johnson described as weighing about 40 pounds, belonged to the woman, according to The Associated Press. The dog was reportedly grazed in the incident and placed in quarantine.
Margarita Brooks’ estranged husband Steven Smith described her as a “good mother” in an interview with KXAS.
He said he met his wife working at a Subway restaurant and married her in 2009.
They separated six years later and have an 8-year-old boy and 10-year-old boy together, Smith said.
He didn’t specify how his wife ended up on the streets but he told KXAS she battled demons in recent years.
“She had her struggles,” Smith said, “but she was a good mother and she loved those boys and her face would light up when she talked about them.”