HOUSTON (KTRK) --An officer acting in self-defense or pulling the trigger too quickly? Grand jurors are now trying to decide if the fatal shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old boy by an off-duty police officer was indeed justified.
Jonathan Santellana died in the apartment complex in the north side of Houston in 2013. Since then, his parents say they have been fighting for justice, and they say justice will not come until the man who allegedly shot their son -- Rey Garza, an off-duty police officer -- is indicted. That has not yet occurred.
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A Harris County grand jury has already been presented this case and has already decided not to indict the officer. However, the parent of the young man wants this to be reconsidered, and that is why, today, their attorney went to the grand jury and submitted a package of information. In it, he claims there is new evidence about a crucial part of Garza's initial defense which is that his car was involved, and somehow it was scraped, and that, in fact, shows that he was doing this shooting in self-defense.
The family's attorney said, "Rey Garza claims that he ran up to this car and that the car was backing out and the door was open and so that door was threatening him...and when that door was opened, it actually scraped Garza's car because Garza's car was right next to there. ...That is an excuse because it is against the law to shoot somebody for merely trying to escape."
The attorney says the key point is that no one ever saw the scrape of a car. They say there's no photo evidence that actually took place, and they are presenting that to the grand jury. The family has about a month left to push for another look at the case. However, there is no indication whether the grand jury will take it up again.