Mesquite PD Holds Press Conference to Release 911 Call and Bodycam Footage from Ashton Pinke Shooting

By Virginia Keller
Improvised Club and Utility Knife from Shooting (Courtesy: Mesquite PD)
MESQUITE – May 7, 2021 – The Mesquite Police Department held a press conference today to release the 9-1-1 call recording and bodycam footage of the incident that led to the officers’ shooting of Ashton Pinke, 27.

The shooting occurred on May 4, 2021 after a 7:45 a.m. 9-1-1 call from Audubon Park Apartments caused MPD officers to be dispatched to the scene. On the call the operator could hear screaming and shouting by a female and a male in the background. No address was given and the call ended but multiple calls had been made from the location previously and this allowed the dispatcher to properly direct the officers.

Upon arrival at the location two veteran MPD officers, one male and one female, knocked on the apartment door and communicated with Pinke. He cracked open the door and, when asked, told officers that there was no disturbance then closed the door repeating his claim as the officers attempted to communicate with the woman inside. Police continued to knock until the woman opened the door and informed police that Pinke was attempting to flee.

The officers went around to the side of the apartment where the female officer observed Pinke coming out of a balcony door. The officer instructed him to come down to talk to her as the male officer came around from the other side. During that time Pinke came down from the balcony and was out of sight around the corner of the apartment. As both of the officers came together Pinke could be heard shouting obscenities at the officers and repeatedly telling them to “shoot”.

Pinke emerged from around the corner with a box-cutter type utility knife and an improvised club which had been modified with sockets and batteries taped to the ends. At this point both officers instructed him “Don’t do it!” multiple times. Pinke then rushed at the officers with weapons raised and the officers fired their service weapons, both .40 caliber Glock 22s, a total of 5 times, striking Pinke multiple times. The female officer fired 3 times and the male twice. This incapacitated Pinke but he continued to try and get up as officers instructed him to stay on the ground.

Officers performed CPR and other resuscitation efforts on Pinke until an ambulance with medical personnel arrived on scene and took over. Pinke was transported to Baylor Hospital in Dallas where he was pronounced dead.

An ambulance was dispatched for the woman involved in the incident but she refused transport. She was treated on the scene for injuries she reported as being caused by Pinke and released.

Both officers, a female 25-year veteran and a male 21-year veteran, are on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

Neither of the officers involved had encountered the suspect before.

Both officers were armed with tasers but according to Mesquite PD Lt. Stephen Biggs they weren’t required by policy and would not have been used in this situation since the suspect was armed with two “deadly” weapons.

The MPD dispatcher informed responding officers that information from a previous disturbance showed Ashton Pinke as a gang member and that he was listed as a mental patient and was bipolar, schizophrenic, and had depression. According to Lt. Biggs MPD policy is to deal first with the nature of the call they are responding to, which in this case was a domestic disturbance 9-1-1 hangup, and not deal with it as a mental health call.

Lt. Biggs said that MPD officers are trained to deal with the mentally ill and in de-escalation but those tactics weren’t deployed here.

Critical Incident Community Briefing w/9-1-1 call and Bodycam footage.