Reports reveal more information about Titusville officer-involved shooting

A Titusville officer faces charges for shooting and killing an unarmed man

Just one day after a Titusville police officer was charged in a man’s shooting death, News 6 is expecting to hear from the man’s family and his attorney Benjamin Crump Friday.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Just one day after a Titusville police officer was charged in a man’s shooting death, News 6 is expecting to hear from the man’s family and his attorney Benjamin Crump Friday.

Jessie Richardson said he still can’t believe 40-year-old James Lowery is gone. He showed News 6 where he said Lowery was found on December 26 after being shot by Titusville police.

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“He died right over here inside the fence,” Lowery said, indicating the body was found on his property.

“Always been good to me,” Lowery said. “James was a very nice fellow.”

State prosecutors said Officer Joshua Payne was charged with manslaughter for pulling the trigger after a foot chase with Lowery.

In a report released Wednesday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found Payne tried to stop Lowery because he matched the description of a suspect who attacked a woman.

Turns out, it wasn’t Lowery, according to the state attorney’s office.

The report shows that when Lowery ran from Payne, the officer deployed his Taser twice, but it was ineffective.

Documents show Lowery, who was unarmed, approached a gate and ignored the officer’s commands to get down.

Lowery eventually climbed over, and that’s when officer Payne simultaneously fired his gun and his taser, shooting Lowery in the back of his head, according to the report.

In the meantime, News 6 checked Titusville Police Department’s policy on firearms and didn’t see any explicit language that specifically says whether officers can deploy both weapons simultaneously.

News 6 obtained Payne’s prior disciplinary files and learned he was given a written reprimand last June for driving too fast when responding to a fight call where he crashed into a pole. Officers said he didn’t have his in-car camera activated.

Titusville police said Payne remains on unpaid leave, pending an internal affairs investigation. That investigation is also why the department said it can’t release much more information — but should be able to release body camera video and more from their investigation within seven days.


About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.