The family of Patrick Warren Sr. are demanding justice after the 52-year-old man was fatally shot by a Killeen, Texas, police officer during a mental health check.
According to a police report, on Sunday, January 10, at approximately 5:29 p.m., officers were called to the 1600 block of Carrollton Avenue in response to a 911 call.
Per NBC News, Warren’s family called the police and asked that a mental health professional be sent to the home.
At a press conference on Thursday, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the Warren family, says the family previously called police the day before in regard to a mental health incident. Reportedly, a mental health resource officer responded and Warren voluntarily agreed to go to a hospital for evaluation. He later returned home.
However, this time, Officer Reynaldo Contreras was sent, and per the report, “encountered an emotionally distressed man.”
According to Ring video doorbell footage of the incident, Contreras rings the doorbell and is briefly allowed inside the home, but then says he's going to walk back outside.
Merritt says Warren’s family told Contreras to leave because they wanted the resource officer who had previously responded.
Shortly afterward, Warren is seen walking outside toward the cop while waving his arms. The officer tells him to stop and get on the ground, but Warren refuses.
As Warren’s family follows him outside, the sound of a Taser is heard being deployed. Then, Warren is seen getting up and appears to move toward the officer off camera. Several gun shots are then heard.
"I told you don't use a gun!" a family member screamed at the cop.
#PatrickWarrenSr was murdered by @KilleenPD. He was on his own property. He was unarmed.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) January 13, 2021
He was suffering a mental health crisis and simply needed help. Instead he was shot three times in his chest and tased.
We demand the immediate arrest of this officer. pic.twitter.com/tNdNBfC5b3
Per the report, “The officer initially used his conducted energy weapon, which was ineffective, and then discharged his duty weapon during the encounter, striking the subject.”
Warren was transported by paramedics to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and was later pronounced dead.
In an updated posted Wednesday, January 13, Kileen PD said Contreras, a five-year veteran of the department, remains on administrative leave.
Both the Texas Rangers and the Killeen Police Department are conducting separate investigations.
In a statement, police Chief Charles Kimble said, “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. 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.”
However, Warren’s family is demanding that Contreras be arrested over the incident.
Merritt said Thursday that Contreras "was not prepared to handle a mental health crisis" and that his demeanor was "hostile,” quickly escalating the situation.
“There’s no reason that a mental health call like this should result in a fatality. Mr. Warren was not aggressive. Mr. Warren was not armed. He was in his home; he was on his lawn. He was within his rights to reject the services of law enforcement after they arrived," the attorney continued.
Ultimately, Merritt says the Warren family "demands the immediate firing and arrest of the officer responsible for his death."