On Thursday, Texas prison officials carried out the execution of Kent Sprouse, convicted of the 2002 murder of Dallas police office outside of a convenience store.

In 2002, Sprouse entered a Ferris Food Mart store with a shotgun, made a purchase, then left and opened fire at two men near a pay phone.  After having trouble with his car, Sprouse shot and killed a man at the gas pumps near him.  Officer Steinfeldt responded to the 911 call at exchanged fire with Sprouse, being hit twice under his arm where his vest did not protect him.  Steinfeldt fired 17 shots, hitting Sprouse in the leg, chest, and hand.  Sprouse told the officer who accompanied him in the ambulance that he opened fire on the man at the gas pumps, Pedro Moreno, because he believed Moreno was an undercover officer.  Sprouse was charged with the murder of both men, but only tried for Steinfeldt's murder.

Test results showed Sprouse had taken methamphetamine and other illegal drugs within two days of the murders.  Jim Jenkins, the lead lawyer for Sprouse, said that his client was suffering from meth addiction at the time of the shooting,

He just didn't know what he was doing, but the jury has to buy that.  It's sort of like being drunk and killing somebody. That's really not a defense, not a legal defense. ... The whole thing is extremely sad.

Sprouse was brought in for lethal injection around 6pm Thursday night in Huntsville.  During Sprouse's final statements he apologized to the families of his victims and thanked his family for their support.  Sprouse was pronounced dead 22 minutes after injection.  The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of Sprouse's case last year and no last minute appeals were filed on his behalf.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice's recent purchase of pentobarbital gives the state enough supply to carry out three more executions this month, though their supply is still diminished as the primary creator of the drug, Lundbeck, had forbidden U.S. distributors to provide any more of the drug for executions.

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