The Laredo Police Department placed six officers who allegedly opened fire on Jose Walter Garza, 30, on administrative duties pending an internal investigation of the incident, which occurred outside a truck stop on Saturday around 2 a.m., according to the Laredo Morning Times.
Police began firing at Garza after he “put his finger on the trigger guard and pointed at the officers.” A surveillance video obtained by the Morning Times does not clearly show Garza threatening the officers but does show the man being shot and officers subsequently handcuffing him.
Laredo Police Chief Ray Garner said the shooting seems justified based on the circumstances, according to the Laredo Morning Times.
“These officers, although justified, are going to have to carry that around with them for the rest of their lives,” Garner said. “I’ve been in contact with all six of the officers from that evening through today. They seem to be holding up. No officer goes to work thinking they’re going to kill somebody.”
Family members told the New York Daily News that Garza was prescribed medication for schizophrenia and could be disruptive when not taking his medication.
But “he wouldn’t get aggressive, he wouldn’t hurt anyone,” cousin Andrea Martinez told the Daily News. “He’s a good kid. “Why didn’t they shoot him in the leg, or the arm or something? Not like that.”
Martinez told the Daily News the family expects to get Garza’s body back Wednesday. Garza’s grandmother, with whom Garza lived, wanted to bury him in a casket but that “changed after they say his body,” the Daily News wrote.