Several community members and family members of a deceased Commerce man are looking for answers into his death, but Commerce Police say they are working as fast as they can.
On July 22, Commerce Police officers responded to a home in the 1200 block of Chestnut Street in town on a report of a shooting. A male victim, later identified as Vincent Jones, was taken to the Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center in Commerce, where he succumbed to his injuries.
The day following the incident, CPD released a brief statement, but no other information has been forthcoming, and no arrests have been made.
Since the shooting, community members and family have been searching for answers. Several people have been reaching out to the Commerce Journal, and some have been alleging a coverup by the police department.
Commerce Director of Public Safety Chris Bassham and CPD Lieutenant Steve Scott discussed the case last week.
“The problem is that these things just take time,” Bassham said. “As much as we would like to turn around and have a case closed the next day, it doesn’t work like that.”
Bassham said that many issues with the timeframe are caused by a lack of adequate equipment.
“We are not a big department, and we don’t have our own crime lab,” Bassham said. “We have to send off our evidence somewhere else.”
Scott said that CPD has sent the forensic evidence from the case to the DPS Crime Lab in Garland, but that the department could be “looking at anywhere from 6 to 8 months” before results come back due to a significant backlog.
The two wanted to dispel rumors surrounding the case. Scott said that he has heard talk that CPD is purposefully not getting the Texas Rangers Agency involved, when he says a Ranger has been involved in the investigation since the beginning.
Bassham added that it was not true that the prime suspect in the incident is a former Commerce Police Officer, another claim made about the case by several community members.
“In all honesty, I wish it went faster, but this is the reality,” Bassham said. “We especially do not want to rush things and make a mistake. I do understand the public’s frustration.”
If you have any information regarding this case, contact the Commerce Police Department at 903-886-1139.