Footage obtained by a San Antonio TV station appears to show the shocking moment two Texas deputy police officers fatally shot a man who was surrendering and holding his hands up.
Authorities previously claimed that the armed man resisted arrest and was shot after non-lethal weapons failed to bring him under control.
Gilbert Flores, 41, died shortly after the shooting which happened on Friday, confirmed by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
According to the police statement, deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez were responding to a domestic disturbance and found a woman with a cut on her head and a baby who appeared to be injured.
The video was filmed on a mobile phone by bystander Michael Thomas and obtained exclusively by KSAT-TV. It seems to show Flores standing still with his arms raised just before two shots are heard and Flores drops to the ground.
It is unclear from the video what was said between Flores, who had a criminal record, and the deputies before they fatally shot him.
District Attorney Nicholas ‘Nico’ LaHood told KSAT-TV that there are actually two video recordings of the deadly shooting and he has reviewed both of them.
Definitely, the video is troubling. There’s actually another video with a better view that is very close. This is a very unique situation where we actually have the shooting on video. That gives us a whole different perspective that we’ve never had before.
While an investigation into the incident takes place, the deputies, who had both been with the sheriff’s office for more than ten years, have been placed on standard paid administrative leave.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Sheriff Susan Pamerleau added:
Certainly what’s in the video is a cause for concern, but it’s important to let the investigation go through its course so that we can assure a thorough and complete review of all that occurred.
However, the police department later criticised the media’s decision to run the video calling it “unethical” and “sensational” and, remarkably, they even appeared to threaten the TV station in a Facebook post.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office really haven’t come out of this one looking good!