Family questions man's shooting death

March 29, 2011 3:51:50 PM PDT
It was an awful night one family can never forget. Their son shot and killed by a Houston police officer, their neighbor. He was a man family members turned to for help when their son was causing a violent disturbance. For the first time, we're hearing from the family of the man who was killed in the shooting. Now they're questioning the officer's actions.

Rhonda Nastasi is still reeling from the death of her only child, 32-year-old Chad Nash, who was shot and killed early Valentine's Day morning by their neighbor, an off-duty Houston police officer.

She said, "We had no idea that that off-duty officer was going to kill him."

But her anguish is a complicated one. Hours before the shooting, Nash and his wife went drinking and argued. Just after midnight on Valentine's Day, Nash was disruptive enough that Nastasi's husband went next door to Officer Raul Abdala's home and asked for help. Investigators say the officer saw Nash with a knife, and fearing for his life, fired his gun. Nash collapsed in his mother's arms.

"I watched my baby take his last breaths," she recalled. "I was holding him and hugging him."

When the shooting first occurred, Officer Abdala's neighbor came to his defense.

"That officer wouldn't use his weapon unless it was life or death, I guarantee that," neighbor Beth Mathis said.

Now, as the grand jury investigation is ongoing, Officer Abdala has returned to his job at the police department.

Nastasi says she knew her son had some issues but wonders if he had to die.

"I don't know what I want," Natasi said. "I would love an apology from him for what happened."

Family members are expecting subpoenas in the grand jury investigation but have not yet received them. They continue to live next door to Officer Abdala.