APD officer will not face charges in February 2017 shooting death

On Feb. 22, 2017 Austin police were called to Appomattox Drive in South Austin. The caller told them someone was trying to blow up their house.

When they arrived, police said Rankins was driving this white Dodge Charger and tried to run them over. Dash-cam video shows the Charger coming back again.

After police chased her down Manchaca Road.

Rankins crashed into a utility pole, ending up in a nearby grassy area. Chief Brian Manley said in a press conference shortly after the incident that officer Benjamin Rogers approached the car, Rankins got out and came at him with a knife.

"He gives multiple commands to drop, drop, drop and ultimately he fires his weapon,” said Manley.

Rankins was pronounced dead on scene. 

Her family pastor said things should have been handled differently.

"We believe that her mental illness was a contributing factor to her behavior in that moment. "There were some comments made about her desire to bait the police officer. I don't know at what point he received that but he at least had information," said Rev. Dr. Joseph Parker, David Chapel Baptist Church.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore decided the shooting was justified.  Parker says the news, wasn't a surprise but for the family, the pain continues to linger.

"I think the family and I are still haunted by the result. The question that continues to be asked is why did he have to kill her?" said Parker.

They are hoping everyone can learn, so the death of Morgan Rankins may not be in vain.

“When one becomes a police officer they have been certified as being able to handle situations like that: his experience, training, all of which should have come together,” said Parker.

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