J. Cumby

Jason Jermaine Cumby

Two sources told the Athens Review on Friday that the fatal shot that killed a burglary suspect Thursday afternoon in Frankston was fired by Henderson County Pct. 4 Constable Rick Stewart.

Stewart’s role in the incident was confirmed by Henderson County Sheriff's Lt. Pat McWilliams, who serves as the department’s public information officer, and Pct. 2 Constable Norman Terry. As of press time Friday, the Texas Rangers — who are investigating the incident — had not confirmed which officer shot and killed the suspect, 29-year-old Jason Jermaine Cumby of Athens.

Information released by Rangers Friday indicates Cumby was shot and killed after firing a gun at law enforcement officers on the scene. The gun belonged to a Frankston officer brutally assaulted moments earlier.

According to the Rangers, Frankston police officers Jason Ward and Elizabeth George heard a police radio broadcast concerning a vehicle possibly involved in a burglary Thursday afternoon. Ward and George located a vehicle matching the description provided on the radio on State Highway 155 in Frankston.

As the officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle sped away and a pursuit ensued. The vehicle turned left on Reed Street and struck a tree. One of the occupants fled the vehicle on foot, pursued by Ward. The second suspect, 32-year-old Anando LaMorris Robert of Athens, was taken into custody by George. George placed Robert into a patrol car and then went to find Ward.

She located Ward in a yard in the 600 block of Weldon Street, not far from the location where the suspect’s vehicle wrecked. Ward, according to the Rangers, had been severely beaten and his gun had been stolen.

Stewart and Deputy Constable Buzz Sides responded to a call for assistance from the Frankston officers. They soon encountered Cumby — who was armed with Ward’s pistol — in the 100 block of Reed Street.

According to the Rangers’ release, “Cumby ignored the Henderson County officers’ orders to drop the weapon and charged towards them. Cumby fired at least one shot from the handgun and was struck by return gunfire.”

Cumby died at the scene. An inquest was performed by Anderson County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace James Todd. An autopsy was ordered to be performed by the Southeast Texas Forensic Center in Tyler.

Ward was transported to East Texas Medical Center Tyler by helicopter. He suffered serious head and facial injuries and underwent surgery. At last report, he was listed in fair condition on Friday.

Robert was taken to the Anderson County Jail and booked on outstanding warrants from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Palestine-based Texas Ranger Sgt. W.R. Flores is leading the investigation, assisted by Athens-based Texas Ranger Sgt. Trace McDonald and Ranger Sgt. Michael Adcock of Cleburne.

The Rangers were assisted on the scene by the sheriff’s departments in Anderson and Henderson counties, the Texas Highway Patrol from Athens and Palestine and Anderson County constables Gary Briley, Doug Lightfoot and Kim Dickson.

Charles Stiff contributed to this report.

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