Family of Black Man Shot Dead by Texas Cop During Mental Health Check Demand His Firing
Patrick Warren Sr., a Black Texas pastor and father, was fatally shot during a mental health check by a Killeen Police Department officer.
The family of a Black pastor is demanding the immediate firing of a Texas police officer who shot him to death during a mental health crisis visit.
Ring doorbell footage released by the family's attorney appears to show Killeen Police Officer Reynaldo Contreras knocking on the front door of Patrick Warren Sr. His family said they were surprised to see a cop because they had called for psychiatric help.
The Warrens said they sought assistance the day before, and a mental health professional arrived with no issue.
But on Sunday, Contreras answered their call. The man "was suffering a mental health crisis and simply needed help. Instead he was shot three times in his chest and tased,” family lawyer Lee Merritt said. “We demand the immediate arrest of this officer.”
The Killeen Police Department has placed Contreras, a five-year veteran, on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation led by state police, and an internal affairs probe conducted by the department.
"This incident is rightfully of great concern to the community. As Killeen Police Chief, it is my duty to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted so that all parties, including the public, have the answers they seek," said Chief Charles Kimble.
"There are many more facts in this case that are not publicly available at this time. I assure you that more information will be made available as soon as appropriate, and I ask for your patience as both investigations proceed," he said.
The department and the Texas Department of Public Safety declined requests from Inside Edition Digital for further comment on the case.
The man's son, Patrick Warren, Jr., issued an appeal for help with burial costs and financial aid. "My father was the sole provider for his family. He had a life insurance policy but with the rise of Covid 19 he was let go from his job and the policy expired 3 months ago. Anything you could contribute big or small would be greatly appreciated!" he wrote on a GoFundMe account established for relatives.
"Our main objective to make sure this doesn’t happen again and that no one else has to go through a tragedy like this and watch your father be shot and killed by someone you called for help," he wrote.
The elder Warren was a local pastor and former factory worker who had started a landscaping business after being laid off, his family said.
Video of the encounter that resulted in Contreras' death, which has been edited, appears to show Contreras entering the home, and then leaving. The family said they asked him to leave because of what they described as a "hostile" attitude. The officer returned moments later and knocked again on the family's door, they said.
In the footage, the elder Warren is seen exiting the home with his hands up and walking toward the officer, waving his arms. He steps out of the frame, and the officer can be heard telling him to get down. The clip then shifts to cellphone video, in which relatives can be heard shouting that he had been tased as the officer continues to yell. They then call for him to sit down as he appears to get up. Moments later, three shots are heard and the man's relatives are heard screaming.
Police said Warren had been tased and was shot in the chest, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. In a statement, the department said, "Upon the officer’s arrival, he encountered an emotionally distressed man. The officer initially used his conducted energy weapon, which was ineffective, and then discharged his duty weapon during the encounter, striking the subject."
Warren's wife, Bobbie, also issued a statement.
“We expect Officer Reynaldo Contreras to be arrested immediately. There is more than enough probable cause for the Killeen Police Department, Texas Rangers or Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza to issue a warrant for Contreras’ immediate arrest and detainment,” she said.
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