BELL COUNTY, Texas – Attorney Lee Merritt and the family of Patrick Warren, Sr. are calling for the firing and arrest of Killeen PD Officer Reynaldo Contreras.
The Killeen PD officer is seen in a doorbell video shooting and killing Warren, Sr.
Merritt and the family say that just one day before Warren, Sr. was fatally shot, another Killeen PD officer was able to talk Warren down when he was having a mental episode.
Merritt tells us that day, the officer built a good report with Warren and gained the trust of the family. Warren volunteered to leave with the officer and get checked out.
Merritt said the following day, when Warren suffered another mental episode, the family requested a mental health resource officer and they were told none were available.
That night, Killeen PD ended up sending Officer Reynaldo Contreras – who the family says wasn’t equipped to handle the job. They say instead of de-escalating the situation like they’d hoped, ultimately his approach intensified the issue in which Warren ended up shot three times.
Merritt calls it “appalling” that the officer has gone this long without being arrested – adding Killeen PD must offer more resources to citizens suffering from a mental health crisis.
Warren’s family, as you can imagine, are heartbroken by their loss.
“The family is really struggling. There’s no reason 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, on his lawn. He was in his right to reject the services of law enforcement after they arrived. Their responsibility was to leave or send the appropriate personnel to deal with this particular crisis. They failed this family in every way and left this family shattered,” Merritt said in a press conference.
Merritt also represents the family of Michael Dean – who was also unarmed, shot and killed by an officer in Bell County. Officer Carmen Decruz faces a manslaughter charge.
Merritt would like the Bell County District Attorney, Henry Garza, to be more aggressive in their approach to holding officers accountable.