Authorities have released body camera video of the moment an unarmed black man was shot dead by a white cop while he was suffering from a mental health crisis.
Patrick Warren Sr, 52, died on January 10 after being shot three times in the chest by Killeen Police Officer Reynaldo Contreras outside his home in central Texas.
Warren’s loved ones claim they had requested help from a mental health professional for the husband and father-of-three – but the officer turned up to their home instead.
Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble on Tuesday released body camera footage from the incident, under pressure from the family who have demanded transparency and the arrest of Contreras.
Kimble said the footage showed that Contreras followed protocol for use of force, adding: ‘I don’t see where he could’ve done anything else.’
The Killeen Police Department on Tuesday released bodycam footage showing the moment Patrick Warren Sr, 52, was shot dead by Officer Reynaldo Contreras outside his home in central Texas on January 10
The video begins with Contreras approaching Warren’s home, ringing the doorbell, knocking and announcing: ‘Killeen Police.’
Someone inside the home is vaguely heard inviting the officer to open the door. When he does, Warren is standing in the hallway and repeatedly tells Contreras to ‘come on in’.
Contreras declines and backs off the porch as he radios to ask for a channel to communicate with dispatchers.
He waits outside for about a minute and a half before Warren emerges from the home and roars at Contreras, raising his hand in the shape of a claw.
Warren’s loved ones claim they had requested help from a mental health professional for the husband and father-of-three (pictured) – but the officer turned up to their home instead
The officer responds by saying: ‘Let me see your hands’ and pointing his taser at Warren.
Warren lifts both arms in the air as the taser’s laser guide lands on his chest.
‘Get down on the ground. Get down on the ground,’ Contreras says.
Warren ignores the order and advances slowly toward the officer, waving his arms and shouting unintelligibly.
Contreras warns: ‘You’re going to get tased’ before pulling the trigger. A buzzing noise is heard as Warren convulses and falls onto his snowy lawn.
‘Lay down on your back!’ the officer shouts as Warren tries to get up, the taser still on him.
Warren shouts in pain and manages to stand and run awkwardly toward Contreras, who continues backing up into a neighbor’s yard.
Contreras raised his taser after Warren ignored repeated warnings to stand still
Contreras fired the taser while family members watched in the background
‘Stay back! I’m gonna shoot you! I’m gonna shoot you!’ Contreras says before three gunshots ring out and Warren falls a few feet away from the officer.
Family members who followed Warren outside are heard screaming as Contreras announces ‘shots fired’ into his radio.
Warren then manages to lift himself up briefly as Contreras, who is still holding his gun out, shouts: ‘Get on the ground! Stay down!’
Warren groans and writhes in pain as blood stains the driveway around him and other police cruisers arrive on the scene.
Contreras tells him: ‘Let me help you, lay down on the ground. I will help you if you let me, lay down on the ground.’
Warren continues trying to get up until two other police officers approach and restrain him.
‘I had no choice, man. Dammit,’ Contreras is heard telling the officers.
Soon after, when paramedics were treating Warren, Contreras recited The Lord’s Prayer over his body.
‘Stay back! I’m gonna shoot you! I’m gonna shoot you!’ Contreras says before three gunshots ring out and Warren falls a few feet away from the officer
Warren continued trying to get off the ground before another officer came to restrain him. ‘I had no choice, man. Dammit,’ Contreras is heard saying
When paramedics were treating Warren, Contreras recited The Lord’s Prayer over his body
Chief Kimble expressed support for his officer’s handling of the situation on Tuesday.
‘I saw an officer try and handle a call, de-escalate a call,’ Kimble said. ‘I saw him go through his progression of force, his presence.
He noted that Contreras tried not to engage with Warren by continuing to back away.
‘If you look where officer Contreras started, where he ended, he was literally at the front steps of the house and literally ended up in a neighbor’s yard,’ he said.
Kimble said that officers have limited tools available to them on mental health calls and: ‘Sometimes we are put in situation as the one that was presented today.’
He said he welcomes further discussion on the topic, adding: ‘We don’t want this to happen anymore.’
Contreras, a five-year veteran of the force, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
The bodycam video was released days after Warren’s family released their own footage recorded by a doorbell camera and cellphone
Kimble made the bodycam video public days after Warren’s family released their own footage, recorded by a doorbell camera and cellphone.
That video, which was edited, showed Contreras walking up to the door before Warren emerged from the house and they both moved out of the frame.
After the shots were fired a man’s voice screams at the cop: ‘I told you, don’t use a gun’.
The video then cuts to another clip which appeared to have been recorded on a smartphone.
Warren is seen on his knees on the grass before he clambers to his feet.
A male voice, presumably his son, is heard shouting: ‘Hey, hey dad. Sit down!’
The voice repeatedly shouts ‘sit down’ and a woman is heard screaming as Warren Sr. walks off camera and is no longer visible.
Suddenly, three gunshots are heard and screams pierce the sky, with someone shouting: ‘No, don’t shoot him!’
The male voice thought to be Warren’s son is heard shouting: ‘No I told you, don’t use a gun.’
‘I told you, I told you,’ he repeats multiple times after seeing Warren gunned down.
Warren was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The doorbell footage begins with Contreras arriving at the door to the family home around 5.30pm on January 10 and ringing the doorbell
Warren then emerges from the home waving his hands as Contreras orders him to stand still
Another clip, which appears to have been recorded on a smartphone, showed Warren kneeling on the grass after being tasered by Contreras
Patrick Warren Jr, the victim’s son, said the family had requested the help of a mental health officer and were surprised when the cop turned up.
They said they had also called for help the day before and – as requested – a mental health professional arrived at their home.
The professional managed to calm Warren down and took him to Advent Medical for treatment.
He then returned home but continued to suffer mental health issues the next day, his family said.
Warren Jr told CBS Local the family asked Contrera to leave their home because he was ‘hostile’ toward them.
A rally was held outside of the Killeen police headquarters on January 14 demanding justice for Warren (pictured) and for change in how mental health situations are handled by authorities
Contrera returned and knocked on the door again just moments later, he said.
He said his father answered the door and stepped out with his hands in the air.
At this point, he said he noticed the red beam of a taser shining on the door.
‘The only reason we got up and walked to the door was because we saw an infrared beam from a taser on the door which concerned us. We heard a pop,’ he told the outlet.
‘We got up. We ran to the door. By the time we made it outside, my father was on the ground.’
Lee Merritt, the attorney for Warren’s family and the person who released the footage, is calling for Contrera to be arrested and charged with Warren murder.
‘#PatrickWarrenSr was murdered by @KilleenPD. He was on his own property. He was unarmed,’ tweeted Merritt Wednesday.
‘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.’
‘A mental health call should not be a death sentence,’ Merritt said in a statement.
It is not clear if Contreras had any mental health training. The Texas Rangers are handling the investigation into Warren death.
Warren Jr told CBS Local his family – in particular his younger brother, who has Down Syndrome – have been struggling to come to terms with what happened.
‘He’s constantly – he was like, you know: “My father’s in heaven?” And I have to answer that question 1,000 times a day, and sometimes he just breaks down and he just wants to cry,’ Warren Jr said.
A rally was held outside of the Killeen police headquarters on January 14 demanding justice for the 52-year-old black man and for change in how mental health situations are handled by authorities.
The demonstration was led by the Killeen group Brothers and Sisters Against Community Crime.
One community member at the rally told CBS Local they wanted to show ‘this will not be tolerated in our community. You will not get away with killing this man on his property.’
Others said Killeen police officers had been seen continually driving by the home of Warren’s family since the shooting.
A GoFundMe account set up by Warren Jr to help pay funeral expenses had topped $54,000 by Wednesday. It says Warren (pictured with one of his children) was the sole provider of his family but had lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic
A GoFundMe account set up by Warren Jr to help pay funeral expenses had topped $54,000 by Wednesday.
It says Warren was the sole provider of his family but had lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Our main objective to make sure this doesn’t happen again and that no one else has to go through a tragedy like this and watch your father be shot and killed by someone you called for help,’ it reads.
Warren’s death marks the latest cop killing of black men and women in the last year.
Protests erupted across America and further afield after Floyd’s ‘murder’ on Memorial Day 2020 after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
EMT Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot six times in March when three plainclothes officers performed a botched raid at her Louisville apartment.
In June, unarmed father Rayshard Brooks was shot dead while he ran from cops in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta.
Then, in August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white cop in front of his three young children, leaving the father-of-six paralyzed from the waist down.
Several incidents have also been during call outs for mental health situations.
Back in March, Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old black man, died after cops placed a spit hood over his head and pressed his face into the ground for two minutes in Rochester, New York, while he appeared to be suffering a psychotic episode.