Man Shot With Arms Raised Threatened 'Suicide by Cop'

2nd video, not yet released, shows better view of incident: DA
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2015 8:59 AM CDT
Man Shot With Arms Raised Threatened 'Suicide by Cop'
"No trespassing" signs are visible at the house yesterday where deputies fatally shot Gilbert Flores in northwest Bexar County, Texas.   (John Davenport/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

Minutes before two police officers shot and killed 41-year-old Gilbert Flores in San Antonio on Friday, a 911 dispatcher said the suspect was "threatening suicide by cop." Officers arrived at a home after reports of a 38-year-old woman with a head injury and a 2-month-old child with a black eye, reports USA Today. Police say they tried to detain a shirtless Flores, who was Latino, with non-lethal weapons, per NBC News. But a man who recorded video of the incident tells CNN that the officers, also Latino, had their guns pointed at Flores during the entire 20-minute encounter. As Flores evaded cops outside, he "acted like he was going to run back inside his house and then ran around the cars by the cop car and the cops started pursuing closer to him," Michael Thomas says. "He put his hands in the air and then he had his hands up for a few seconds and the cops shot him twice."

Thomas' video shows Flores with at least one arm raised when officers opened fire; his other arm is obscured by a utility post. A district attorney says a second video, recorded by a neighbor, shows "a better view to make an assessment on what happened. It is a closer view and a better angle." It has not been shared with the public, though a lawyer for Flores' family tells the AP he may file a lawsuit pressing police to release the footage. "With everything going on in the world, with police shootings and everything, I thought I would record what was happening," says Thomas, who sold his video to KSAT for $100. KSAT says its job is to share "information in the public interest" and "it is not uncommon for news organizations to pay for video from freelancers or citizen journalists." Bexar County police say the move has "sparked threats to our deputies' lives" and "deputies are coming to work in civilian clothes because of their concern for safety." (More Gilbert Flores stories.)

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