Wife of man killed by deputies seeks answers, body cam footage
The wife of a Kingsland man killed by Llano County sheriff’s deputies has contacted an attorney in an effort to obtain body camera footage of the Oct. 23 shooting.
Jillian Harrod said the shooting of her husband, Justin Harrod, 40, was “unnecessary” and believes footage from the cameras worn by the deputies involved will prove that to be the case. Two deputies are on administrative leave after the incident.
A Llano County Sheriff’s Office release said deputies shot and killed Harrod after responding to a 911 call about “a man with a gun” who had already fired a shot on Eula Lane in Kingsland. According to the statement, written by Chief Deputy Brad Evans: “Deputies, fearing for their safety, discharged their firearms, striking Harrod.”
Jillian Harrod made that emergency call to law enforcement.
“If it would have ever crossed my mind that they would have shot him, I would never have made that call,” she told DailyTrib.com.
She said she called 911 for help early Sunday morning after an argument with her husband got out of hand and he grabbed a firearm. She left the house, hoping to de-escalate the situation, and walked to a friend’s home nearby. After hearing a shot, she contacted law enforcement, afraid that her husband would hurt himself.
“I heard a gunshot go off, and I didn’t know what happened,” she said.
The nature of Jillian Harrod’s call was confirmed by Chief Deputy Evans, who told DailyTrib.com the caller said she feared Justin Harrod would hurt himself. Evans said there was no indication the shooter was actively chasing the caller at the time.
Jillian Harrod told DailyTrib.com that her husband had become heavily intoxicated after a night spent partying with friends and was not acting like himself, which led to the argument and the gun being drawn.
“I had called (911) for help because (he) had just drank too much and that wasn’t in his normal capacity,” she said. “I believe he was blacked out at that point.”
She recounted the events of the day that led to the shooting, saying it was spent with friends and family. On Saturday, the couple met with close friends and took their children to see a movie in Marble Falls at about 10:30 a.m. They ate lunch together at a Mexican restaurant in town. Later, they attended a Halloween event in Granite Shoals with those same friends and their children. The kids were then dropped off at home, and the Harrods went to dinner with another set of friends at a Cottonwood Shores restaurant. After the meal, the couple went dancing at a Buchanan Dam night club and drank with friends until about 2:30 a.m. From there, they went to a friend’s house for a party.
Jillian Harrod believes the party is where her husband drank enough to become heavily intoxicated.
“This was the first time we really stayed out that long in a while,” she explained. “Justin doesn’t really drink liquor, just beer.”
The argument happened after the couple arrived home.
“We got home and he was just not himself,” she said. “He is just not that kind of person. He is so loving and caring and wonderful. Anybody that knows him will tell you that.”
She called 911 at about 5:50 a.m. Sunday but was not on the scene when deputies first arrived. Chief Deputy Evans relayed the events that took place from that point on.
According to Evans, at least seven or eight patrol cars arrived on the scene because the shift change between night and day patrols was happening at the time.
The first deputy who arrived made initial contact with Justin Harrod in the yard, Evans said. Then, several other deputies showed up and also engaged with Harrod.
“They spent several minutes actively speaking to Justin, and they were in close proximity to him,” Evans said. “They were talking to him as best they could, and things escalated to where they felt like they were in fear for their lives and they discharged their weapons.”
Both Evans and Jillian Harrod said 20 minutes passed from the time of that initial contact to deputies opening fire.
“I do feel responsible because I made the call that ended his life,” Harrod told DailyTrib.com. “I called for help, and they ended up shooting him.”
Evans said emergency medical services were on standby throughout the incident and tended to Justin Harrod within a minute of the shooting.
When asked what exactly led to deputies opening fire, Evans had no comment.
Harrod was placed in an ambulance, still alive and conscious, and transported to the nearby Kingsland Community Center, where he was to be transported to a hospital by helicopter. However, he died before the helicopter arrived, Evans said.
Jillian Harrod was not permitted to be in the ambulance with her husband, which Evans said is standard procedure in this type of incident.
During the 20 minutes before the shooting, she said she was in the street behind a perimeter created by deputies and could not determine what was said or specifically led to the deputies opening fire.
“I was screaming at the top of my lungs not to do anything, he is just drunk,” she said. “I heard gunshots go off, and I, of course, hit the pavement and started puking because I knew they had shot them.”
Harrod told DailyTrib.com she contacted an attorney to obtain body cam footage because she believes things don’t add up.
“They definitely could have helped him more, and they did not,” she said. “When I asked if he had pointed the gun at the officers, they said they couldn’t tell me that.”
According to Evans, two deputies involved in the shooting are currently on administrative leave. The incident is being investigated by the 33rd & 424th District Attorney and the Texas Rangers.
Jillian Harrod said Justin was a loving husband, father, and friend who had never harmed her or their family. They had been together for almost five years and married one year in June.
He worked as a surveyor for the Lower Colorado River Authority. He was born in Alaska but had lived in Burnet County since middle school. He moved to Kingsland after the couple’s wedding. They had no children together, but her two daughters lived with them full time and referred to him as their “Bonus Dad.” He had a son and a daughter from a previous relationship.
“I want people to know that Justin was a wonderful, loving person, an amazing dad, and we were so in love,” Jillian Harrod said.
3 thoughts on “Wife of man killed by deputies seeks answers, body cam footage”
I certainly hope you get your answers. I still do not understand why shoot to kill. If there are that many deputies looks like there was other ways to de-escalate the situation. I moved from there because of the Llano Sheriff Office. My heart breaks for this family. I will forever think twice before dialing 911.
Jillian you are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you find peace. Justin was a good man and I know he loved Jillian his wife with all his heart. For the short time that I new Justin he was always smiling and happy and I knew the love that him and his wife has was true. I hope that justice for Justin happens and his family can find peace and allways remember that He is loved by many and we are all here to suport them in this time.
This just breaks my heart.
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