Texas man fatally shot by ‘hostile’ officer during mental health check
'They failed this family in every way and it’s left them shattered.'
Patrick Warren Sr. was unarmed and at his home in Killeen, Texas, when he was fatally shot by police during a mental health check. Now his family is calling for the arrest of the officer who killed him.
The shooting happened Sunday evening (Jan. 10), after officer Reynaldo Contreras responded to the family’s psychiatric call. According to NBC News, the family requested a mental health professional be sent to the home. Instead, Contreras arrived and “encountered an emotionally distressed man” who he was “not prepared to handle,” civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Merritt, who is representing the family, said Contreras was “hostile” and used his “conducted energy weapon” on Warren but it was not effective, according to a police statement. The officer then shot the 52-year-old man, who died from his injuries at a hospital, the report states.
The moments before and after the shooting were captured by a Ring doorbell, which Merritt shared on his Twitter page. In the video, the officer is heard asking Warren to get down on the ground, while a family member yells for Contreras to not shoot him. Moments later, several shots are heard.
The Killeen Police Department have not said why Contreras shot Warren.
“There’s no reason that a mental health call like this should result in a fatality. Mr. Warren was not aggressive. Mr. Warren was not armed. He was in his home; he was on his lawn. He was within his rights to reject the services of law enforcement after they arrived,” Merritt said. “Their responsibility was simply to leave or send the appropriate personnel to deal with this particular crisis. They failed this family in every way and it’s left them shattered.”
“This incident is rightfully of great concern to the community. As Killeen Police Chief, it is my duty to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted so that all parties, including the public, have the answers they seek. There are many more facts in this case that are not publicly available at this time,” Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble said in a statement. “I assure you that more information will be made available as soon as appropriate, and I ask for your patience as both investigations proceed.”
Contreras has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation.
Warren reportedly lost his job at a local plant company due to COVID, and had started a landscaping business to support his family, according to the report.
“Patrick was a loving husband, father and devoted man of God. As we deal with the pain of his sudden loss we are asking the community to join us in honoring his name and demanding justice,” his wife Bobbie said in a statement.
The Texas Rangers are reportedly handling the investigation into the shooting.
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