CLINTON — Tanquetra Spears waited for hours with her family in the dark Friday night and then into Saturday morning as her brother's body lay on the ground, exposed until about 4 a.m.

Myron Flowers, 28, had been killed in a shooting involving an East Feliciana sheriff's deputy just after 9 p.m. Friday, an encounter that started with a traffic stop. The deputy was not injured.

"They haven't told us anything," Spears said Sunday afternoon. "I feel like there needs to be justice served."

Spears and her family do not know exactly what happened in the shooting, and officials have given no further details. But the family struggles to imagine a scenario where an officer's only choice was to kill Flowers — a man they described as mellow, quiet and focused on family.

"I know it could have been handled different," said Kenuatra Smith, Flowers' cousin. "I feel like the police used excessive force."

East Feliciana Sheriff's Chief Deputy Greg Phares said the deputy, whom he declined to identify, initiated a traffic stop about 9 p.m. Friday on Jackson Street near the parking lot of the RKM Primary Care, just off Highway 10.

Phares declined to comment further on the details of the shooting that followed the traffic stop, including how many shots were fired, if only one deputy was involved or the reason for the traffic stop, citing the agency's ongoing investigation in conjunction with State Police. However, he said they planned to release more information Monday at a press conference.

"We plan to talk to the media tomorrow at which point we will talk about some of the facts of the incident," Phares said Sunday.

Flowers' family said they know he was a passenger in the stopped vehicle, but know little else about the shooting. 

They are also concerned how officials will portray their loved one, someone who they acknowledge has had his flaws, but was overall a good person. They said he has been arrested and served time, but never for violence offenses. According to East Baton Rouge Parish court records, Flowers had been arrested on drug and traffic violations. East Feliciana Parish court records were not immediately available Sunday.

“That’s not him, he’s not violent like that," said Daja Flowers, another sister. “He was full of life. … He was a family person, he was loving."

Daja Flowers slid through photos on her phone of her brother playing with her children, kissing her baby. She laughed about how he could always get them to eat different foods, even after they had refused the same options from her.

"We want everyone to know the type of person he was, how he cared for his family," Smith said.

As Daja Flowers flipped through photos, one of his young nieces toddled into the room, and at the sight of the photos she grinned, exclaiming: "That's Uncle Myron!"

Myron Flowers was also father himself to one young son, about 5 years old, his family said.

They said Flowers went to Clinton High School, loved to fish and cut hair to make money. He'd lived in Clinton all his life.

“He was a caring person. He didn’t say much," Spears said. "You had to really bother him for him to get upset.”

His family said they still are in shock that Flowers — whom many called 'Tippy,' because he walked on his tippy toes, or 'Lime,' a nickname for which they couldn't remember the origin — was gunned down in a shooting involving law enforcement in the small town about 45 minutes north of Baton Rouge. They personally know many of the town's police officers and even some of the parish's sheriff's deputies, and think they are typically approachable and helpful.

But there are a lot of rumors going around about how Flowers died and about the officers involved. None of it sits well with the family.

"When you don’t get answers, it makes you feel like they’re doing whatever they can to protect their own," Smith said.


Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.