- On Thursday an officer from the Arlington Police Department shot and killed a 30-year-old homeless woman named Margarita Brooks
- The officer was responding to a welfare call for Brooks laying in the grass when her Labrador retriever mix ran at him
- Body camera shows the officer fired three shots at the dog with Brooks directly in the line of fire
- The officer began his career as a detention officer in 2012 but graduated from the police academy in February 2019 and completed his field training on July 1
- The dog was grazed by a bullet but ran to a garage located at a nearby dealership
- It was reported that Brooks is the daughter of an Arlington Fire Department captain
In Arlington, Texas, a rookie officer shot and killed 30-year-old homeless woman named Margarita Victoria Brooks while trying to shoot her dog during a welfare check of a woman lying in the grass.
What We Know
Brooks was known in the as ‘Maggie’ by her friends and acquaintances and officials have confirmed she is the daughter of an Arlington Fire Department captain. On Thursday evening, officers received a call claiming Brooks was passed out in the grass near Cantor Drive and North Collins Street.
First responders arrived at on the scene at around 5:20 pm but were not able to find Brooks. The responding officer was directed to where Brooks was laying. Brooks was located with her unrestrained dog in between a fence line and woods behind the nearby shopping center.
Margarita Brooks Body Cam Shooting Released
On Friday, the Arlington Police Department released body camera footage of the shooting. The full video is 6:45, with the confrontation between Brooks and the officer starting at around the 6:00 mark. The officer is heard saying “Ma’am,” then “Hello” as he approaches Brooks laying on the ground.
The officer gets closer to Brooks and asks, “Are you okay?” Brooks responds, “I’m okay. I’m fine.” The dog is seen beginning to run towards the officer, at which point he says, “Is that your dog? Can you get him?” The officer then steps back as the dog runs up the sidewalk. The officer says “Get back,” as he points the gun directly at where Brooks is laying and fires three shots.
Brooks can be heard screaming, “What the fuck? Oh my God! [Inaudible] shot me!” The officer then radios in shots fired. After shooting Brooks, the officer begins walking towards her and says, “Ma’am, get a hold of your dog.” It appears the officer then realizes the severity of the situation and begins running towards Brooks as the video ends.
Brooks Was A “Good-Hearted Person”
Following the shooting, the officer reportedly performed emergency services on Brooks until EMS arrived on the scene. Brooks was taken to Medical City Arlington Hospital and pronounced dead at around 6:00 pm. Staff at the Don Davis car dealership said the brown dog — a mixed Labrador retriever weighing 40 pounds at most — ran into the garage around 6:00 pm and looked scared until a man came over and calmed it down. Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said the dog received an injury matching that of being grazed by a bullet. The dog was treated by a veterinarian then impounded by police.
Brooks was often seen by the shopping center with her boyfriend and her dog. They were said to be a regular of the Seville Commons shopping center, but not known to be a nuisance. Larry Hamilton often tries to find work outside the Walmart in the shopping complex and knew Brooks and her boyfriend. Hamilton said Brooks was a “good-hearted person.” According to Hamilton, Brooks was “real loving to the dog,” and it “was her soul.” Those who know the couple say they did not know the dog to be aggressive.
An Absolute Tragedy
At a press briefing on Friday, Johnson called the shooting an “absolute tragedy” and said Brooks “was never the intended target of the officer’s use of force.” According to Johnson, two investigations are being conducted on the shooting. Currently, a criminal investigation is occurring that will be sent to the district attorney to go before a Grand Jury. Following the criminal investigation will be an administrative investigation to see if the officer followed proper policy. The officer was placed on routine leave on Thursday following the shooting.
The 25-year-old Asian-American officer responsible for killing Brooks started his career with the department as a detention officer in 2012. The officer transitioned to recruit officer status in July of 2018. He graduated from the police academy in February of 2019 and had just finished his field training on July 1. The officer received the mandatory 8-hour class on canine encounters in February of 2019.