Ireland Sargent | Staff Reporter
SAN MARCOS — An open records request offers additional information into a shooting that occurred on April 10, 2021, resulting in the death of Rescue Eram after being shot by San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) officers.
According to the Hays County Criminal District Attorney’s Report, Officer Jordan Perkins and Sergeant Jayson Cormier both fired handguns at Eram, while Officer Mueller attempted to use a taser to stop Eram’s assault. Officer Perkins shot Eram four times, assuming Eram had a knife, however, officers later determined the weapon was a screwdriver.
Before the incident, around 12:15 a.m. Eram was found “casually” walking in and out of traffic on Interstate 35 causing multiple vehicles to suddenly brake to avoid hitting him or other vehicles.
Eram was walking on the narrow shoulder very close to passing traffic while Officer Franco Stewart waved his flashlight calling out “Sir! Let’s get off the highway!” Eram did not respond other than to throw his sweatshirt at the officer.
Officers continued to follow Eram after he chose not to comply. Eram had appeared close to passing traffic and assumed to have been hit by a truck but was observed still standing.
Officers attempted to detain Eram before he ran several steps towards them while Officer Perkins fired 10 rounds. He stopped firing after Eram was on the ground and no longer a threat.
Officers are trained not to expect a single shot to stop a threatening suspect, but to continue firing until the threat is resolved, as stated in the open records request.
Examination of the officer’s decision to fire at Eram was conducted and deemed essential in the scenario. Officers noted Eram did not exhibit signs of the typical muscular incapacitation the taser is intended to cause, suggesting that the taser was essentially ineffective.
Texas Ranger Nick Hill documented the scene using a Leica Geosystems Scan Station P20 (3D laser scanner) and found the nearest casing to Eram’s body was just over 14 feet away. The casings’ locations are consistent with their having been ejected from Perkins’ pistol where he was positioned near the eastern side of the northbound onramp. The farthest casing being approximately 25 feet from the body.
Travis County Medical Examiner Dr. Kendall Von Crowns determined Eram’s cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds. Crowns recovered bullets and bullet fragments from Eram’s upper back, left side, and left leg associated with the gunshot wounds.
The Toxicology Report indicates the presence of drugs and their associated metabolites in Eram’s blood. Records show levels between 20 to 50 ng/mL are considered average as prescribed by a medical professional, however, Eram presented levels above 300 ng/mL; this can be associated with violent behaviors.
According to the Hays County Criminal District Attorney’s Report, at the time that Officers Perkins and Mueller, and Sgt. Cormier used force or deadly force against Eram, they had a reasonable belief that such force was immediately necessary to protect themselves or other officers from Eram’s apparent, imminent, and unlawful use of deadly force. Under the standards set out in the Texas Penal Code, these officers’ actions were legally justified.
A Hays County Grand Jury declined to indict any officer for any offense. No criminal charges will be filed. The Hays County Criminal District Attorney’s Office considers this case closed.