Officials are investigating a shooting that occurred in Laredo, Texas early Saturday morning. Family members of the the deceased claim that police officers unloaded approximately 80 rounds at their son, a schizophrenic known to the local police department.
He was armed with a replica pellet pistol.
Around 1:50 a.m. Saturday morning, six police officers arrived on the scene of the Gateway Truck Stop to find Jose Walter Garza. Within five minutes of arrival, the officers began firing at Garza. Officials have not confirmed the number of shots that were fired.
“We are looking at all possible aspects, hoping to speak to all possible people who are eyewitnesses or may have had a run in with this individual,” investigator Joe E. Baeza told NYDaily News. “There’s a lot of ground to cover.”
The investigation may should start with the officers the mentally-ill victim has interacted with in the past. According to NYDaily, Garza had a been arrested and was no stranger to the police department.
“Garza was well known to officers: he’d been arrested by the local department 30 different times, on charges ranging from assault of a public servant and theft to assault causing bodily injury and criminal trespassing.”
Family members of Garza wonder why the police had to respond with such brutal force and admit that Garza had run-ins with police in the past. “He’s a good kid,” Andrea Martinez said. “Why didn’t they shoot him in the leg or something? Not like that.”
The Loredo Morning Times obtained surveillance footage from the gas station that shows scenes from the shooting. At about 1:25, you can see officers standing over Garza’s body engage in what appears to be a “fist bump.” The video does not show the shooting itself but the body does fall into the scene afterward. The video shows Garza’s body.