The City of La Marque stands by its pledge for transparency in the ongoing investigation involving Joshua Feast. Hear from Interim Police Chief Chad Waggoner, Interim City Manager Chaise Cary and Mayor Keith Bell.
4:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 31, 2021
VIDEO MESSAGE FROM CITY LEADERSHIP: https://youtu.be/vH0H9oVrigg
On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Galveston County District Attorney presented the investigation of the officer involved shooting death of Joshua Feast to the Galveston County Grand Jury. Joshua Feast was shot by a La Marque Police Officer Jose Santos on the night of December 9, 2020. Mr. Feast later died of his injuries. After hearing all the evidence, the jury decided to take no action against Officer Jose Santos.
The announcement comes after the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office both independently evaluated the facts and circumstances of the case and presented the case to the Grand Jury.
Jack Roady, the Galveston County Criminal District Attorney, in conjunction with the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, held a press conference to discuss the investigation at 4:00 p.m. at the Galveston County Sheriff's Office in Galveston. I45NOW report: https://fb.watch/7Kkyn51dy6/
Officer Santos’ status will be changed from administrative leave to administrative duty. The next step for La Marque Police Department is an in-depth departmental evaluation of Officer Jose Santos’ actions on December 9, 2020, through the lens of LMPD’s internal policies and procedures. LMPD will deliver the outcome to the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager when it is completed.
“We have been and will continue to pray for everyone involved – the Feast family, the Santos family, the citizens of La Marque, and the entire law enforcement community,” said Interim Police Chief Chad Waggoner. “In the act of duty, one of our officers had to make the choice to discharge his weapon, and a life was lost. No one wants that in their city. Our hope is that the community will respect the decision of the grand jury and our criminal justice system. We need to band together now, as we all work toward building a safer city.”
La Marque Mayor Keith Bell is asking that we all look to find common ground, to remain peaceful and to challenge ourselves to see that differences are mendable, and perspectives do change.
“The job of policing does not rest solely on the shoulders of the men and women of the La Marque Police Department and those agencies with whom we work so closely,” said Mayor Bell. “The job of reducing crime, instilling peace, and brightening the future for generations to come is shared with our citizens and neighbors. I look forward to the department and community working together to collectively solve challenging problems while becoming a model for other cities to follow.”
In the interest of transparency, a history of statement releases regarding this case is below.
5:00 a.m. December 21, 2020
The La Marque City Council, the administration of the City of La Marque and La Marque Police Department, stand by our promise to participate in the just and complete investigation of the officer-involved shooting that occurred in our City on December 9, 2020, as well as our pledge for transparency.
The City of La Marque has received requests for Officer Santos’ body camera footage from members of the media, from members of our community and from the family of Joshua Feast.
The Texas Public Information Act requires this specific footage to be released near the end of December. In keeping with the City’s promise of transparency, the video is being released early on Monday, December 21, 2020.
“We know our community has questions,” said La Marque Police Chief Kirk Jackson. “We are releasing information as soon as we are able while maintaining the integrity of the investigation and complying with our legal obligations. We ask for continued patience as the investigation unfolds. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Joshua Feast.”
DECEMBER 9, 2020
The La Marque Police Department is actively investigating a series of shootings that happened in La Marque and neighboring cities. A house on Pirtle Street has been the scene of two recent drive-by shootings and was being monitored as part of that investigation.
Joshua Feast had been named a person of interest in the above-mentioned shootings. Feast had two outstanding felony warrants, including Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Felony Evading Arrest. On the evening of Wednesday, December 9, 2020, surveillance identified an individual believed to be Feast.
At approximately 11:10 p.m. that night, Officer Jose Santos was dispatched to verify Feast was near a residence on Pirtle Street and attempt to arrest him on the outstanding warrants.
Upon arrival, Officer Santos observed an individual believed to be Feast leaning into the passenger side of a vehicle. Officer Santos exited his marked patrol vehicle, called out to Feast, and observed that Feast was holding a handgun. Feast abruptly turned toward Officer Santos. Santos then discharged one round from his duty pistol. At the time the round was fired, Feast was positioned with his right back side toward Officer Santos.
Almost immediately following the shot, the handgun that Feast was holding fell to the ground. Feast ran approximately 30 yards before collapsing in the driveway of a nearby residence in the 1000 block of Pirtle.
Officer Santos maintained a position of safety from Feast and immediately called for medical personnel. As soon as a back-up officer arrived, Feast was secured. The scene was secured, then Feast was transferred to an ambulance to receive emergency medical attention.
The gun that fell from Feast’s hand was recovered by officers and turned over to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office investigators on scene. While Feast was in the ambulance receiving treatment, a second handgun was recovered after it fell from his clothing. The second handgun was also turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.
BODY CAMERA VIDEO
All LMPD uniformed patrol personnel wear Axon body cameras, an industry standard for police departments across the United States. When Axon cameras are turned on, the system goes into buffering mode for 30 seconds and only records video. Due to the pace of this encounter, Santos’ body camera was activated, but no audio is available for the first 30 seconds. The video was provided to members of the media at 5:00 a.m. Monday, December 21, 2020.
No employment action can be taken against any officer in an officer-involved-shooting, or under any other circumstances, until all investigations are complete.
"There have been calls from the community for the immediate termination of Officer Santos," said La Marque City Manager Tink Jackson. "If we were to take an employment action on any officer in an officer-involved shooting, or to even begin the administrative investigation before the Sheriff's Office investigation is complete, we could jeopardize the criminal investigation. There is a manner and process in which any personnel actions must be taken, so they comply with the law. That takes time. We ask for your continued patience.
The City of La Marque and the La Marque Police Department remain committed to the fair and just investigation of this incident.
“All of us are hurting,” said La Marque City Manager Tink Jackson. “All of our citizens, neighbors and friends realize this is a tragedy. My hope for La Marque is that we remain respectful of each other, lift each other up and focus on the future as we begin to heal.”
The details included in this statement are all we are able to share at this time. For additional questions about the case, please reach out to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office Records Division at email@example.com or call 409-766-2320.
3:00 p.m. December 11, 2020
Galveston County Sheriff's Office has approved the release of additional information regarding the officer-involved shooting that occurred in La Marque on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.
The officer is Jose Santos, a Hispanic male who has been serving the La Marque Police Department since October 2014.
The deceased individual is Joshua Feast, a 22-year-old African American male from La Marque.
All LMPD uniformed patrol personnel wear body cameras.
The body camera footage is part of an active third-party investigation being conducted by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Galveston County District Attorney's office and cannot be released by LMPD at this time. This is standard for officer-involved shootings.
For specific questions about the case, please reach out to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office Records Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 409-766-2320.
La Marque City Council, the City of La Marque and La Marque Police Department, stand by our promise to participate in the just and complete investigation of this incident, as well as our pledge for transparency. Updates will be provided as they become available.
Our sincere condolences go out to the family of Joshua Feast and the community of La Marque as a whole as we all face this tragedy together.
4:50 p.m. December 10, 2020
This morning, a press conference was held regarding the officer-involved shooting that occurred on the evening of December 9, 2020.
La Marque City Council, the City of La Marque and La Marque Police Department, are dedicated to the just and complete investigation of this incident. The investigation is being conducted by the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, and updates will be provided as they become available.
Mayor Pro Tem Keith Bell spoke at the press conference, expressing empathy for the family of the man who was shot and for our community as a whole.
“This is a tragedy and a sad day in our community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bell. “We are all mourning the loss of this young man, regardless of the circumstances. As we grieve together, I hope we can allow for space and time for the investigation to unfold. Transparency will prevail, and the truth will come out. There will be a time for us to verify, to ask questions about the findings of the investigation and I promise you as a leader in this community, I will make sure those questions are addressed.”
For specific questions about the case, please reach out to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
For emergencies, dial 911.
To report crimes in progress or suspicious activity, dial 911.
To remain anonymous and be eligible for cash rewards, contact La Marque Crime Stoppers. Download the P3 Tips app, click https://www.p3tips.com/741, or call 409-938-TIPS (8477).
8:30 a.m. December 10, 2020
La Marque Police Department will host a press conference in regard to an officer-involved shooting at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
Members of the media should meet in La Marque Council Chambers at 1109B Bayou Road, La Marque, Texas 77568. The press conference is not open to the public due to COVID-19 concerns but will be live-streamed on the City of La Marque’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/CityofLaMarqueTexas and on Channel 16.
2:00 a.m. December 10, 2020
At approximately 11:15 p.m., on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, a La Marque Police Officer was involved in a fatal shooting at the 1000 block of Pirtle Street in La Marque. A press conference is being planned for Thursday, December 10, 2020.
Per La Marque Police Department policy, the officer will be placed on administrative leave during an internal investigation. Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office will conduct independent investigations, as well.