KILLEEN, TX – Video released on Wednesday by renowned civil rights attorney Lee Merritt shows the moments before and after the fatal shooting of 52-year-old Patrick Warren Sr, an unarmed Black pastor living in the Killeen, Texas area. Warren’s neighbors described him as a “nice guy”, who would often help neighbors with yard work.
He was fatally shot by a five-year Killeen Police Department veteran, Reynaldo Contreras. He arrived at the 1600 Block of Carrollton Avenue after Warren’s family attempted to contact mental health professionals, apparently noticing Warren’s behavior changing.
“A mental health call should not be a death sentence,” Merritt said in a press release.
The video, a ring doorbell feed released by Merritt, shows Warren stepping out of his house with his hands in the air, slowly walking towards officer Contreras. Warren was tased and shot three times off-camera. Audio of the gunfire was captured in a bystander’s cell-phone video. Warren’s family immediately denounced the shooting, appearing extremely emotionally distressed. One resident repeatedly said, “I told you, don’t use a gun.” Warren was transported to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez 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,”
Merritt said Warren initially greeted officers, later telling them to leave his home. He says the officer shot Warren once, aimed the firearm at his wife, and shot him twice more, killing him.
Contreras has been placed on administrative leave as the Texas Rangers oversee the investigation. Warren’s family is demanding the officer be fired, as well as the release of all body camera footage.
SOURCE: KWTX, KCEN-TV, NEWS ONE, FAMILY OF PATRICK WARREN SR, LEE MERRITT