Killeen police fatally shot a man in a Mickey’s parking lot after he caused a disturbance and an “altercation” ensued. But 11 months later, and with the investigation complete and no charges filed, city officials are still fighting to not release video evidence and a full account of what actually happened.
Ralph “Ralphy” Sebexen, a martial arts teacher, was 27 years old on April 5, 2022, when he was shot by KPD Officer Devin Hill. Killeen police previously described the incident as an “altercation” at a convenience store on Fort Hood Street.
After three weeks in the hospital on life support and after enduring at least 11 surgeries, Sebexen died from the injury on April 26, 2022. His mother told the Herald previously that her son did not have any weapons.
According to the Bell County District Attorney’s Office, the case was presented to a grand jury in December.
“This presentation followed the independent investigation by the Texas Rangers,” said District Attorney Henry Garza in an email to the Herald on Feb. 24. “The full investigation was presented to the Bell County grand jury for consideration and following their review and deliberation they took no action in connection with the shooting investigation.”
The jury’s decision to not indict means no criminal charges were filed against Hill.
On Jan. 30, the Herald filed a Public Information Act request with the Texas Department of Public Safety in order to obtain the Rangers’ investigation report. DPS provided seven partially-redacted pages of a 23-page report written by Texas Ranger Ken Shields. The portion of the document that would contain a narrative of the incident was entirely redacted except for basic information that already has been released.
“Sebexen resisted KPD Officer Hill’s attempt to arrest or detain Sebexen,” the partial narrative states.
The Herald is awaiting a ruling from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
“Because this case is still open, the Department can only provide the basic information pursuant to Section 552.108c of the Government Code,” according to DPS in a letter to the Herald on Feb. 13, two months after a grand jury declined to hand down any charges.
It’s unclear if KPD still considers the case open.
The City of Killeen issued a similar response to an open records request made by the Herald on Jan. 31.
“We are in receipt of your written request submitted to the Killeen Police Department asking for police video related to an incident on April 5, 2022,” according to City Attorney Holli Clements, in the letter dated Feb. 9. “We believe that the information available is protected by Government Code section 552.103, reasonably anticipated litigation and Government Code section 552.108, law enforcement exception, as well as Occupations Code 1701.661. We have asked the Texas Attorney General for a ruling on whether the requested records must be disclosed. As such, we are not releasing any portion of the requested records to you.”
Killeen city officials also recently denied the Herald’s request for 9-1-1 recordings in a case that reportedly took police about two hours to respond to an assault in north Killeen. The woman who called 9-1-1 in the case also wants the recordings to be released, but she, too, was denied.
The Herald plans to highlight these and other government transparency issues during the week of March 12, known as Sunshine Week, which many newspapers take part in to highlight government openness and access to information, or the lack thereof.
KPD released some information about the Sebexen shooting in a prior news release.
At around 4:50 p.m. on April 5, “officers were dispatched to the Mickey’s Convenience Store located at 3200 S. Fort Hood St. in reference to a 911 call about a disturbance,” according to a KPD news release on April 5, 2022.
Police were told that a person was causing a disturbance in the parking lot.
“Officers made contact with the person and an altercation allegedly ensued,” police said in the news release. “Officers attempted to subdue him with a Taser but were unsuccessful. The altercation continued and the officer fired his duty weapon, striking the person.”
Considering the entire purpose of the police force is to serve the citizens of Killeen and are completely funded by the tax payers, they sure seem to want to keep a lot of secrets.
Exactly how long are those camera videos kept? What do you want to bet they'll be approved for release AFTER their date of erasure!
It’s clear they don’t want the truth out and the district attorney seems to side with them.
No charges filed against Sebexen and KPD's steadfast refusal to release the video makes it pretty obvious they are hiding damaging information. Let's hope the DA orders them to release it. It may take the family filing a lawsuit to force it's release. Come on KPD, prove to us that we can trust you!!
Also teachers, assistants, volunteers, drivers, cooks, nurses need body cameras especially those who work with special education students; Discrimination and verbal and physical abuse is horrible in Killeen Independent School District, when they reject them it is because they are purely evil. Enough of solving the case by distributing the abusive employees and students affected by different schools without consequences of legal justice.
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