Texas Sheriff Says Dead Man Had a Knife

     SAN ANTONIO (CN) – A second video shows a Texas man had a knife in one of his raised hands when sheriff’s officers shot him to death two weeks ago, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said.
     Gilbert Flores, 41, died Aug. 28 after a standoff with deputies ended when Officers Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez fired two fatal shots at the shirtless, unarmed man.
     A 4-minute video shot by a San Antonio college student shows Flores pacing in a front yard, raising his hands in the air, then falling dead upon being shot at close range.
     Another sheriff’s car arrives as the student, Michael Thomas, says, “They just cold-blooded shot that (expletive deleted).”
     The video, sold to a local television station for $100 and released online in an unedited version, sparked outrage, as the latest in a string of police killings caught on camera.
     Flores’ left hand in the sometimes shaky video, shot from 200 to 300 yards away, was obstructed at times by a utility pole.
     Bexar County Sheriff’s spokesman James Keith said Tuesday that a second video shows Flores had a knife in his hand when he was shot. He said there are no plans to release the video to the public.
     An audio recording of sheriff’s officers’ response has been posted on YouTube.
     Sheriff Susan Pamerleau described the video as “not necessarily closer,” but “from a different angle.”
     “There’s no doubt that’s what’s shown in the video is of great concern to all of us,” Pamerleau said Tuesday. “We saw Mr. Flores’ hands up and then he was shot. The important thing is being able to know what happened in that sequence.”
     Pamerleau said the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab enlarged the footage and slowed it down to give a better idea of what took place.
     Keith said the sheriff’s office has completed most its investigation and handed over its findings to the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.
     Vasquez and Sanchez, both veteran officers in the department, are on paid administrative leave.
     The FBI’s civil rights division is also investigating.
     “Every one of our officers, whether they are on patrol or whether or not they work in a jail, are trained in crisis intervention,” Pamerleau said. “If through this investigation it’s determined that there was any wrongdoing on the part of the deputies, we will deal with that.”
     District Attorney Nico LaHood said he would “look at the totality of the situation” before taking action.
     According to the audio posted by Broadcastify , officers were called to the home for a domestic disturbance about 11:30 on a Friday morning. A female dispatcher is heard telling paramedics that Flores’ 38 year-old wife was inside the home with a head injury, with a 2-month-old child “with a black eye.”
     Broadcastify is a website that publishes radio traffic from public safety, aircraft, rail, and marine communications nationwide.
     “And he is also threatening suicide, so possibly three patients. Go ahead and stage,” the dispatcher says.
     “Do we know if the injured party is still with the actor?” a paramedic stationed at the end of the street asks.
     “That’s affirmative, and he’s threatening suicide by cop,” the dispatcher responds.
     In the 30-minute recording, paramedics report that Flores attacks the officers, and at one point warns, “He’s trying to get into a patrol vehicle and might take off.”
     “Two officers outside. They’re at gunpoint. Unknown where the subject is at this time,” the paramedic tells the dispatcher.
     “They are talking to the subject now. They’re outside talking to him. And he has a knife in his hand,” the paramedic says.
     At about the 17:30 mark in the audiotape, paramedics tells the dispatcher shots have been fired, and “suspect down at this time.”
     Flores was buried Saturday in west Texas.

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