10/02/2013 02:52 pm ET

Justin Boehm Fired From Police Force After Shooting At James Barton (VIDEO)

A Texas officer who shot at a man during a traffic stop avoided criminal charges -- but he was fired.

Austin Police Officer Justin Boehm wasindefinitely suspended after the May 8 shooting, KXAN reported.

James Barton, 55, exited his vehicle after Officer Boehm pulled him over for running a stop light. Barton can be seen on the officer's dash cam stepping out of his truck and reaching for his wallet.

Boehm yells at him to stay in his vehicle before firing a single shot, which missed. Boehm told investigators he fired because he feared for his life, believing Barton had a weapon.

"He turned on his lights. I pulled over, reached for my wallet, and opened my door. I was getting out when a bullet came flying past my head," Barton told KVUE news in September.

Barton said he had a panic attack, caused in part by a prior heart condition. He was taken to a hospital and released a short time later.

On Friday, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told KHOU that the shooting was unreasonable.

"It's clearly a wallet," Acevdeo said. "[Boehm] now knows it wasn't a firearm. His conduct...was not consistent with what we expect at the Austin Police Department."

The Texas Civil Rights Project filed a federal lawsuit in August on Barton's behalf, seeking at least $12,700 for medical bills, lawyer fees and punitive damages. That civil case is still pending.

A grand jury reviewed the case and decided the officer should not face criminal charges.

Since Chief Acevedo took over as the Austin Police Department's leader in 2007, he has fired or suspended nearly 300 officers, KXAN discovered.

“I don't think this makes Officer Boehm a bad person but based on the totality of the evidence, we don't think Officer Boehm needs to be a member of the Austin Police Department,” Chief Acevedo said.


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