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Neighbors remember 80-year-old man who was shot by police
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Beaumont police are working to learn more about what prompted a man to fire a shot toward a woman and why he refused to put down a rifle and then pointed it toward officers.
Police shot and killed 80-year-old Stanley Leger following the confrontation outside his home Tuesday night in the 3100 block of East Lucas.
Three officers are on administrative leave following the shooting, that is standard procedure in a case involving deadly force.
Leger was a longtime taxidermist in Beaumont.
"I was in the house me and my two children and I heard a gunshot and I grab hold to both of my children," Stephanie Harmon said.
That was the first gunshot Harmon and other neighbors heard Tuesday night.
It brought police to a home in the 3100 block of Lucas in North Beaumont.
A woman called 911 to report Leger was shooting at her from across the street.
"I had my children both, one right here and one like this and I look out the window and see Mr. Stanley, was standing right here," Harmon said.
When police showed up, they say Leger confronted them.
"I seen he had a gun and I was like what is Mr. Stanley doing with a gun in his hand and then I heard the cop say put the gun down, put the gun down," Harmon says.
"Instead of putting it down, he actually pointed it at the officers," Beaumont Police Chief, Jimmy Singletary said.
"And he never put it down and I hear pow!" Harmon continued.
Police say they fired in self-defense, hours later, the 80-year-old man died during surgery at a hospital.
"It surprise me a whole lot because when I first moved here in the month of June he treated me and my family so well and nice and kind," Harmon said.
Harmon says Leger often played with her children.
"I told him, I said, 'Mr. Stanley I'd never had a landlord like you before , you're treating me like your daughter,'" Harmon said.
Some neighbors paint a different picture of the man who died.
"Mr. Leger, he wasn't a very nice person," Tee, a local shop owner who didn't want to be identified said.
She says she'd had a few run ins with Leger.
"Everybody felt unsafe around him," Tee said.
Chief Singletary says Leger didn't have a criminal history.
"It's so out of character for him to do this and that's part of our investigation to find out why he did what he did," Chief Singletary said.
Questions about character and reasoning, investigators are trying to answer, but everyone seems to agree on one thing.
"They told him to put the gun down, he didn't ever want to put the gun down so they had to do what they had to do," Harmon says.
"He could've shot anybody, yeah they did what they had to do," Tee said.
"You just can't let a man point at police knowing he's already fired at a citizen 75-80 yards away so the officers had to do what they do but that doesn't make it any easier for the officers," Chief Singletary said.
Beaumont police say this is the first officer involved shooting since 2012, where someone has died.
The district attorney's office is helping with the internal investigation, it expects to wrap up the probe in the next two to three weeks.