Body cam footage released last week shows a Texas police officer shooting an unarmed teenager who was sitting on a couch when the officer approached and fired through an open door.
Police said the shots that killed 18-year-old Charles “Chop” Roundtree Jr. on October 17, 2018 were meant for his companion, Devante Snowden, who took a threatening stance towards San Antonio police officer Steve Casanova, who can be seen firing through the doorway, striking Snowden in the backside.
“Let me see your f—ing hands!” Casanova shouts before firing into the house.
Bullets from the gunfire exited Snowden’s buttock, hitting Roundree in the chest, according to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Roundtree, unarmed, was left dead from the gunfire.
“It’s a very unfortunate tragic incident that happened,” McManus told reporters after the shooting.
Now, the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office is asking a grand jury to investigate the shooting death of Roundtree, according to KENS 5, who obtained body cam footage through an anonymous source last week.
“He’s obviously being looked into, in my opinion,” former Bexar County district attorney Nico LaHood, who was the district attorney when the shooting occurred, said last week.
“So there is a suspicion of some type of behavior that led to the death of the young man on the couch.”
LaHood said the new DA will have to consider the totality of the evidence about Casanova’s claim that he was in danger.
“Was it reasonable? Was it apparent? Was it imminent?” he asked.
Casanova’s intent for being at the scene will be considered as well.
“This seems to be a tough one no matter what the decision is,” LaHood said.
Body cam video shows Casanova arriving at 217 Roberts St. to investigate a reported assault after 1 a.m. from a couple trying to deliver caldo de pollo.
When he arrives at the door, the force of his knock opens the screen door and he does not announce himself as a police officer.
Footage shows Snowden getting up from the couch.
That’s when Casanova opens fire after yelling “let me see your f—ing hands!”
A gun police found inside the house was tested, but none of Snowden’s DNA was found on the weapon.
San Antonio police visited 217 Roberts St. 130 times; 64 visits were for drugs and six were gun-related incidents in a two year span from the date of Roundtree’s death.
During that same span, police responded to 111 calls to the entire rest of the block.
The body cam video came after KENS 5 made several attempts to acquire the footage.
SAPD denied their requests to body cam footage or personal files, citing an ongoing investigation and that Casanova had not been criminally cleared for Roundtree’s death.
However, a source who wished to remain anonymous emailed a copy of a 90-minute video with a note attached that said, “You should see this.”
Watch footage of the shooting above.