HPD releases new recordings moments before officer shoots and kills 'aggressive panhandler'

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Video shows man charging at HPD officer before being shot and killed
ABC13 obtained surveillance video in October showing the suspect running with an American flag. Now, police released new recordings, but a vital aspect is missing.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Police released new recordings when an officer shot and killed a suspect who allegedly charged at him with a knife, but a crucial element is missing.

The actual shooting of the suspect, Alfredo Garza, who was described as an "aggressive panhandler," was not captured on the bodycam. The Houston Police Department said that's because Officer Rookie I. Garcia did not turn on his camera until after he shot Garza.

The entire incident unfolded along Longpoint near Wirt on Oct. 25. Garza was seen carrying an American flag and apparently used it to attack a driver.

"Some person just hit my car. A homeless man with a flag," the driver said in a newly released 911 call. "He was right in the street. He just broke my windshield, and he's trying to chase me down right now."

Minutes later, Garcia arrived at the scene. Even though his bodyworn camera was not on, surveillance video captured the shooting. The officer also called dispatch before and after the shooting.

"Can you call code one, he's got a knife," the officer told dispatch. "He's coming right at me! He's coming right at me! Hey stop, bro! Stop coming at me! Drop the knife!"

Moments later, Garcia told dispatch, "Shots fired! Shots fired! I got one man down! One man down!"

HPD is investigating whether or not Garcia turning on the camera too late violated policy. That investigation is not yet complete, but Garcia is back on patrol.

ABC13 reached out to Garza's mother on the phone after the videos were released. She did not want to talk about her son's death.

However, Latino rights organization FIEL Houston is working with the family, and expected to release a statement in the coming days.

For news updates, follow Miya Shay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Only on 13: Video shows HPD officer shooting 'aggressive panhandler' to death outside McDonald's

The video above shows the moment an HPD officer opened fire on a man who allegedly charged at him with a knife outside of a McDonald's.