By that time local new stations in Houston, Texas were tracking every moment of an unfolding high-speed police car chase.
A dark colored Chrysler vehicle driven by 41-year old Shephard sped down Houston’s US-59 highway, with officers hot in pursuit.
Minutes later, the chase did end. In a statement the Harris County Sheriff’s Department said that Shephard exited the vehicle surrounded by officers who ordered him to show his hands multiple times.
But Shephard instead got back into his car. According to police, the officers thought he was reaching for a weapon, so they opened fire.
As the drama unfolded on television, Cheryl Shephard, and thousands of others, watched as her son was shot and killed.
Officers fired 10-12 rounds into the vehicle, according to the Houston Chronicle. All the while, news anchors breathlessly narrated the final, gruesome moments of his life.
Cheryl Shephard watched in horror, but she already knew — even as she pleaded with her son to stop the car — that this might be the last time she spoke to him.
“I told him to stop. Stop the car Trey. Get get out the car Trey please. Don’t do this please don’t do this baby,” she told KTRK. “He knew he wasn’t coming home,” she said.
Later at the scene, Cheryl Shephard covered her face with her hands and cried: “Oh my God.”
The chase began as a routine traffic stop around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday when police pulled Trey Shephard over for making “unsafe lane changes,” the sheriff’s office said.
But Shephard sped away, according to police leading them on a chase for more than 15 miles.
“I’m looking at it on TV saying ‘why would you run from the law?’ Not knowing it was my nephew,” Chris Shephard, the driver’s uncle told the Chronicle. “My sister, his mom , called and told me that they shot and killed him.”
According to the Chronicle, Shephard called 911 during the chase and told them that there was a child in the car and he would harm the child if police continue to chase him. There was no child and no weapon in the vehicle.
While his family grappled with why Trey Shephard chose to flee police, they acknowledge that he had a troubled past. His uncle told the Chronicle and KTRK that he had an outstanding arrest warrant on charges that he assaulted a family member in 2013.
His criminal record also shows that Shepherd was sentence to prison time two decades ago and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 1999 and assault in 2011, according to KTRK.
“I’m not blaming no one, because you know he was at fault for reaching back behind,” Chris Shephard told KTRK. “He should’ve just gotten up put his hands up and lay down the ground.”
The shooting is being investigated by the Harris County’s homicide unit, the District Attorney’s office and the police department’s office of internal affairs.
“This was a very dangerous situation that the HPD had to deal with,” Harris County Police Department Deputy Thomas Gilliland told the Chronicle.