Dallas officer on scene of deadly officer-involved shooting said he feared for their safety

A Dallas police officer on scene the night of a deadly officer-involved shooting in 2017 testified they were in fear for their safety that night.

Christopher Hess is on trial for aggravated assault by a public servant. He was fired and charged for the shooting death of Genevive Dawes in 2017.

Hess’ attorneys are trying to convince the jury that the former officer used reasonable force with testimony from other officers at the scene that night.

Christopher Alisch was one of the Dallas police officers on scene the night Hess fired into a vehicle several times, killing Dawes who was behind the wheel.

The call was for a suspicious person. Alisch says he and other responding officers gave loud verbal commands to Dawes and her passenger that went unanswered, until the vehicle started moving and hit a squad car.

Hess’ attorney asked Alisch if he was in fear of his safety or of other officer's safety at that point in time.

“Yes, I'm in fear for anything and everybody in that parking lot,” Alisch testified.

Alisch said he had his gun drawn but didn't fire because Hess and the squad car were in front of him. That was similar to Thursday's testimony from another officer who fired only one shot.

Alisch said he would’ve fired his weapon if Hess wasn’t in front “because there's a huge threat to other officers behind the vehicle.”

Prosecutors tried to show there was no actual threat, asking if there would’ve been a continued threat if the car hadn’t moved.

“It never came forward towards officers, is that right?” the prosecutor asked.

“No, it did not move forward,” Alisch said.

The defense also called expert witnesses, including a retired Austin police officer, who said Hess' use of force that night was reasonable.

“You don't just shoot and hope one shot will work, or two or three. You start putting rounds towards the target and when the car stopped, the officer stopped shooting. That's what he's trained to do,” said Jerry Staton.