TEXAS – The Houston Police Department released graphic body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting on July 6 on its YouTube Channel on Wednesday, showing the moment a scuffle broke out between officers and a suspect.
HPD Officer A. Garza, who discharged his duty weapon, suffered a cut to his nose and was treated at the scene. Officer Garza is assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division and was sworn in as an officer in December 2018.
HPD Special Investigations Unit Sergeant P. Buttitta and Detectives J. Moreno, B. Bertrand, C. Walker and N. Arellano reported:
HPD patrol officers responded to a family disturbance at an apartment complex at the above address. Officers spoke with a female in an apartment, who stated the suspect choked her. Officers attempted to speak with the suspect, but he was uncooperative. As officers attempted to detain the suspect, he actively resisted and a physical altercation ensued.
A second male in the apartment intervened by pulling officers’ hands away from the suspect. At that time, the suspect attempted to disarm an officer by removing his duty weapon from his holster. The officer yelled that the suspect had possession of the weapon and it discharged. Fearing for his and the other officer’s safety, Officer Garza discharged his duty weapon at the suspect and struck him. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The second male, identified as Francis Vasquez-Benitez (H/m, 18), is charged with assault of a peace officer in the 176th State District Court.
As is customary in HPD officer-involved shooting incidents in the city limits, this case is being investigated by the HPD Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.