Not just one, but two, San Antonio deputies were caught on camera shooting and killing a shirtless man who had his hands up in surrender – clearly unaware that a witness was recording a video.
The shooting took place on Friday after Bexar County sheriff’s deputies arrived on a call of a domestic disturbance around 11:30 a.m.
Deputies allege that when they arrived they found a woman with a cut on her head and an 18-month old baby who appeared to be injured.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office claims that non-lethal means were deployed on the man and failed, but as we can see in the video, he was clearly surrendering when he was killed.
Both deputies who had engaged the man fired their service weapons as his hands were up.
The video was taken by a man named Michael Thomas, a college student, who is aware of the epidemic of police shootings happening around the country – which he says is what prompted him to begin recording the incident. He stated that he saw the man’s hands were up, before he heard the two gunshots ring out.
“I was watching and wondering, what was going on, but I couldn’t figure it out. I was like, with the things going on in the world, like different type of shootings with cops and different things like that, so I was like, ‘Well, maybe I can catch something with my camera,’” Thomas told KSAT12.
The full video was obtained by KSAT12, but they made the editorial decision not to air the exact moment that shots were fired. We can however, see the most important part – which is the fact that the man clearly had his hands above his head.
The station claims to have stopped at the exact moment, and did not note any split second movements of the man from this position. The sound continues over the moment where they cut the video.
“He kind of just put his hands in the air. After he put his hands in the air, they shot him,” Thomas said.
In a press conference following the incident, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, who had noticeable thin blue lines running the length of the arms of her glasses, admitted that the video was cause for concern, but still urged the public to basically give the officers the benefit of the doubt.
“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,” Sheriff Pamerleau said.
“What’s important is to not rush to judgment on any part of this,” she said. “Wait until we have all the facts and evidence in order to make a complete assessment.”
The victim’s identity has not yet been released to the public.
Both deputies have been with the office for over 10 years, and both are now on administrative leave with the department investigates itself.