Footage emerges of Black man shot to death by police officer called to perform mental health check

Joanna Taylor
Tuesday 19 January 2021 13:57
(Ring via TMZ)

Footage has emerged of the moment a Black man was shot dead by a police officer called to help him deal with a mental health crisis.

Patrick Warren, 52, was killed on the lawn outside his house in Killeen, Texas on 10 January.

Video recorded by his home security system appears to show officer Reynaldo Contreras approaching the house and speaking to someone before walking away. Warren then exits his home, unarmed, waving his hands in the air. 

His family follows behind him and someone can be heard calling “do not shoot him, do not shoot him”. But a gunshot can be heard offscreen moments later.

The Killeen Police department report states that Contreras was sent to Warren’s house on a psychiatric call, where he found him “emotionally distressed”. After trying to subdue him with a Taser which proved “ineffective”, Contreras shot Warren.

He has been placed on administrative leave from the department at which he has been an officer for five years. The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident.

The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, said during a press conference that Warren’s death left his family “shattered” and “really struggling”.

He added that the day before the shooting, a mental health resource officer responded to a similar call from Warren’s family when he experienced a manic episode. On that occasion, Warren willingly accompanied the officer to a hospital.

But when Contreras responded to their second call, Merritt claims, he was “hostile” and the situation “quickly escalated”.

Merritt is calling for Contreras’s arrest and prosecution as well as an independent investigation into the shooting.

Warren’s family is raising money for his funeral. His son, Patrick Warren Jr, wrote on their GoFundMe page:

“My father was the sole provider for the family. He has a life insurance policy but with the rise of Covid-19 he was let go from his job and the policy expired three months ago.

"Our main objective is 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.”

They have raised more than $50,000 of their $100,000 goal so far.