Who was Ashton Pinke? Texas Black man, 27, shot dead by cops was a father-of-four suffering from mental illness

Pinke was shot 'multiple times' by two Mesquite cops who were responding to a 911-hang up call where they allegedly heard screams and struggle in the background


                            Who was Ashton Pinke? Texas Black man, 27, shot dead by cops was a father-of-four suffering from mental illness
Ashton Pinke seen in an old mugshot from 2020 (Dallas County Sheriff's Department)

MESQUITE, TEXAS: A Black man who was shot by police in Mesquite, Texas, succumbed to his injuries on the morning of Tuesday, May 4. The shooting happened sometime after 7:45 am when officers dispatched to a reported 911-hang up call of an apparent domestic violence situation at the Audubon Park Apartments on the 5800th Block of Northwest Drive. 

According to officials on the scene, the number was traced to an address where police had responded multiple times before. The police spokesperson who revealed all of the details of the shooting added that dispatchers could also hear sounds of struggle and screaming in the 911 call placed to them before it hung up. When they arrived, police were told by a victim that there was a man armed with a knife, a release from Mesquite Police claims. Shortly after, police encountered the alleged perpetrator and the side of the apartment building and he "charged at officers armed with a knife and a club" they said. 

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Pinke was shot "multiple times" by two responding officers -- a 21-year-veteran male and a 25-year-veteran female officer. While neither has been identified by the department, Mesquite Police claim these officers administered first aid to the man they just shot before first responders took him to a local hospital. Initially, in critical condition, the man later died confirmed cops during an 11:30 am briefing at the scene. The alleged victim, who had been reportedly assaulted, was also treated by first responders, and none of the officers at the scene were hurt during the shooting said cops. 

Who was Ashton Pinke?

The man killed in the police shooting was identified as Ashton Pinke, a 27-year-old Black man from Dallas. Local outlet WFAA reports that it's not clear if police considered Pinke to be a threat before shooting as officers were still being questioned at the time of the report. Pinke's family members who spoke to the outlet at the scene described him as a father-of-four, whom the police were acquainted with due to his history of mental illness. It is however still unclear whether the officers responding to the 911 call who shot him were aware of his condition.

Pinke's family said they were 'stunned' by the shooting and demanded to know what kind of threat he was posing to the officers who fatally shot him. "It's not equal force," Pinke's uncle said. "A walking stick - he got to run up to you. You're fighting with bullets. That's distance. You're winning. You can't - you can't win against a gun." He added: "Why you can't just tase him?" he added. "That's the only thing I'm saying? Why you couldn't just tase him?"

Witness told the local outlet that they had seen Pinke with a walking stick before the shooting, although cops are yet to reveal if he carried anything else beyond that. “All I heard them say was 'don't do it, don't do it' and then I heard the shots,” the resident said, revealing that she was standing quite close to the scene when Pinke was shot. She said she heard four shots fired and ran to her balcony to see what was happening.

Scene at Audubon Park where Ashton Pinke was fatally shot (Youtube: WFAA)

Locals protest, cops on administrative leave

Outrage has sprung among local activists too as they are calling for Mesquite Police to release bodycam footage of the shooting for "complete transparency." The footage is being reviewed and will be released later in the week, claim cops. Meanwhile, Pinke's family has retained civil rights attorney Justin Moore to represent them. In a statement from Moore's firm, he claimed there "should have been a mental health welfare check."

The statement added, "Unfortunately, the lack of a proper response by the Mesquite Police department ended in Asthon being shot and killed. By all accounts, Ashton was not armed with a gun or deadly weapon to justify the use of lethal force by officers on the scene. My office is committed to investigate any and all civil rights claims for Ashton's family, while demanding full transparency in any and all investigation that will be conducted by law enforcement going forward."

Both the responding officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay as the investigation goes on, with 72 hours for them to give a statement of the incident. 

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