The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Police ask to withhold information in January shooting on SE

By Karen Gavis/editor-in-chief

In response to open record requests by The Collegian, both Grand Prairie and Arlington police departments have asked the state attorney general’s office to allow them to withhold information about a Jan. 24 shooting on SE Campus.

Jordan Hatcher, a 22-year-old ex-Marine, was suspected in a robbery that occurred at a nearby Target store. He escaped police on foot and fled to SE where, during a scuffle with officers, he reportedly grabbed a Taser and was shot by a Grand Prairie officer multiple times in the chest. Hatcher died at the scene.

The Collegian filed requests seeking information about the shooting with Grand Prairie and Arlington police in early March. In response, both departments promptly sent requests to the Texas attorney general asking that information be withheld. 

Arlington police detective Byron Stewart, who has been assigned to investigate the homicide, said the department’s stance is to not release any information while a case is under investigation.

“Obviously, my position is just to work the case,” he said. “You will get the information. But you are not getting it yet.”

Arlington police spokesperson Tiara Richard was unwilling to go on record saying anything about the incident other than some of the information has not been released because of the investigation. She said the name of the police officer involved in the shooting would have to be obtained from Grand Prairie police.

However, Grand Prairie police is not releasing the name or any other information either. Their request to withhold information regarding the case is currently pending with the attorney general’s office and awaiting a ruling, according to an email from the Grand Prairie police records office.

In Arlington’s request, the attorney general ruled April 10 that certain information had to be released to the public, but items pertaining to the investigation, specifically something the ruling would only identify as “Exhibit B,” could be withheld.

Arlington officials are waiting to receive the official ruling, said Stephen Meyer of the city attorney’s office.

When asked why the investigation had taken three months, Richard said this is standard procedure, and the department is not trying to withhold information but rather thoroughly investigating the case which is now at the district attorney’s office.

The exact number of times Hatcher was shot remains officially unknown as well. Information released by Grand Prairie police and the Tarrant County medical examiner online states only that he had been shot “multiple” times.

“Our homicides are released through the district attorney’s office,” medical examiner records manager Novella Young said when asked for a copy of the medical examiner’s report.

The Collegian was told by the district attorney’s office that no information could be provided without the name of the person firing the shots.

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