Video seems to show cops shooting man with hands up

Gilbert Flores in undated photo released by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. Photo: CBS News

Gilbert Flores, 41, died shortly after the shooting Friday, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday.

The office said it’s received threats to its deputies since the video aired.

Deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez were responding to a domestic disturbance and found a woman with a cut on her head and a baby who appeared injured, according to the statement.

The deputies encountered Flores, who was armed, and attempted to arrest him, the sheriff’s department said. The statement didn’t say what type of weapon Flores had.

After Flores resisted, the deputies used nonlethal weapons in an attempt to detain him, but when “those efforts failed,” they shot him, according to the statement.

The video, taken by a bystander and obtained by KSAT-TV, appears to show Flores standing still with his arms raised just before two shots are heard. Flores drops to the ground. The video doesn’t include audio of deputies’ commands or Flores’ response, and the scene is partially obscured by police vehicles and passing cars.

Moments later, deputies drag and flip Flores onto his stomach. About a minute and a half later, an ambulance arrives.

The video was shot from more than 100 feet away, reports CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TV, adding that the video appears to show him without a weapon in his hands, which are open and raised at the time of the shooting. Authorities have said he was armed with a knife when deputies arrived.

The deputies, who had both been with the sheriff’s office for more than 10 years, have been placed on standard paid administrative leave. The sheriff’s department is investigating and has said the officers were not wearing body cameras.

“Certainly what’s in the video is a cause for concern, but it’s important to let the investigation go through its course so that we can assure a thorough and complete review of all that occurred,” Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said at a news conference Friday.

But her office later criticized the release of the video as “unethical” and “sensational.”

“These deputies have not been charged with a crime and a family lost their loved one,” the office wrote in a Facebook post Monday.

The post encouraged people who disagree with the publishing of the video to “call KSAT and let them know what you think” and listed the station’s phone number.”

In a separate statement, the office said it has “taken precautions to make sure our deputies are safe after receiving threats concerning their safety. All of our deputies are on heightened awareness.”

The department didn’t respond to messages Monday seeking further comment on the video.

A woman at the residence where the shooting took place declined a reporter’s questions Monday, referring him to San Antonio attorney Thomas J. Henry, who did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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