HOUSTON A Precinct 3 deputy constable shot and killed a man while attempting to serve a warrant in northeast Harris County Tuesday night.The deputy said he was in fear for his life and shot the man, who was armed with a flashlight.

Deputies had an open warrant on 37-year-old Tracy Dear for felony aggravated assault.They went to his home in the 12700 block of Robert E. Lee near C.E. King Parkway around 9:30 p.m. to serve him.

When they arrived, Dear was hiding, but suddenly emerged from behind a wall in the garage.

He was carrying a flashlight, but one of the deputies mistook it for a gun and opened fire.

Dear was shot in the chest and died at the scene.

Family members said the officer reacted too fast.

They said he came out the side door and they shot him in the chest.They said he had a flashlight in his hand.They thought it was a gun, but there s no way.If they had a light, they could have seen it wasn t a gun, it was a flashlight, said a female relative. He didn t even get out of the garage before they shot him in the chest.

Deputies said Dear lunged at them and that is why the officer fired his duty weapon.

Dear s stepmother said he spent most of his life running from the police, so the last thing he would do is to run toward them with anything.They admit he had a lengthy criminal record, but feel he did not deserve to die.

Deputies said it was dark in the garage when Dear appeared, so it was difficult to see exactly what was in his hand.The constable who shot Dear is on paid leave while the case is being investigated.
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