Joshua Feast, the Texas man killed by police last week, was shot in the back, according to an independent autopsy the family requested in the death of the 22-year-old. Well-known attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, announced the finding Wednesday at a press conference.
Crump and Feast’s family have been calling for the firing of the La Marque police officer, Jose Santos, who shot Feast. They also want authorities to release bodycam videos of the shooting after police claim Feast pointed a gun at the officer on Dec. 9 when Santos tried to approach him about an outstanding warrant on possession of a gun, CBS News reported. Deputies say the video is part of an investigation and cannot be released at this time.
Crump claims that Feast was fleeing when Santos shot him in the back.
"He was a defenseless man who was running away," Crump said. "There was no reason for [Santos] to shoot and kill this young man, who had only turned 22 three weeks ago.”
Crump also added that there was a single gunshot wound in Feast's back, which was consistent with witness accounts of what happened. Neighbors told KHOU that Feast was running away when he was shot.
Witnesses also told the station that Santos called Feast’s name, but didn’t tell him to stop or put his hand’s up until after he shot him. Crump also said a witness said Santos kicked Feast while he was on the ground, CBS News reported.
Feast died before he arrived at the hospital, Crump said. Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said investigators told him the video shows that Feast pointed a gun at Santos before turning and running. Trochesset’s department is investigating the killing. Trochesset said he did not see the video himself, CBS reported.
A 9mm gun was recovered on the road after the shooting and a .45 was found on Feast's clothing, according to authorities. Crump told CBS News he's filed a request with Galveston County Sheriff's Department to release the results of the official autopsy and to show the family the video.
Feast's mother, Lakeisha Feast, is devastated by the loss of her son, who was the father of two toddlers.
"I just feel like my son shouldn't be dead and the officer should be held accountable," Feast said. "My grandkids should still have their father here. It's very hurtful."
Feast’s funeral is on Friday, and his family is hoping to see the video before then.
Santos was allegedly seen in a different 2013 arrest video in Galveston beating a Black man and holding his head under water at a beach, according to Crump. Whether Santos is actually in that video has not been confirmed. Santos denied allegations of wrongdoing after a lawsuit was brought against him in the case and the lawsuit was later dismissed, according to CBS News.
Santos resigned from the Galveston Police Department in December 2013, but it is not clear why, according to reports.
"If they would have taken his gun and badge away from him after what he did in 2013, Joshua Feast would have been here today," Crump said at the press conference.