DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Five Dallas Police officers shot and killed an unarmed man in West Oak Cliff Saturday after he had someone at a nearby business call police to tell authorities he had a gun, police said Sunday.
Police received an emergency call at 5:58 a.m. Sunday from an Oak Cliff business that asked police to come to the 2900 block of W. Davis. According to police, Tony Orlando Menchaca, 32, asked the business to call 911 and told them he had a pistol.
Police “maintained their distance” while speaking with Menchaca because of the apparent weapon. Police blocked traffic on Davis, called an ambulance and a SWAT team, and requested bulletproof shields.
About an hour after the initial call, Menchaca began to walk toward the 3100 block of Davis to speak with officers. He again told them he had a pistol, police said. Menchaca then “made gestures that the officers deemed threatening” and five officers opened fire, shooting and killing the man, police said. Menchaca’s family members said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
On Monday, police officials said that Menchaca threatened to shoot officers.
“When he says, ‘I have a gun, I’m going to shoot you,’ [and] he’s harmed officers in the past, officers have to be at a heightened state of awareness, of concern,” said Deputy Chief Craig Miller.
A police release Sunday said the Homicide Division’s Special Investigations Unit will head a criminal investigation, while an Internal Affairs investigation will “look at administrative and policy issues surrounding the incident.” There is relevant dash-cam footage, police said, but it will not be released to the media until both investigations are complete.
This is the second time in two weeks that Dallas Police have shot and killed an unarmed man. On Oct. 29, Dallas police were called to an east Oak Cliff apartment complex in the 3800 block of Bonnie View Road.
Officers soon encountered Tobias Mackey, 25, who had a criminal trespass warning, which made it illegal for him to be at the complex.
While speaking with officers, Mackey moved his hands behind his back out of view of the police. Mackey was ordered to move his hands to his side. Police said he did not, and “made gestures” that caused three-year veteran Officer Matthew Tate to shoot him.
Mackey died from his wounds, and officers later did not find a weapon on the 25-year-old. An 11-year-old boy walking in a courtyard behind Mackey was also shot in the arm during that exchange. The boy was not seriously injured. That investigation is also ongoing.
“It blew me away,” said Rev. Ronald Wright, the executive director of Justice Seekers Texas. “We’re not going to settle for anything less than talking about indicting these officers who are trigger happy.”
Wright has spent time with the community in the complex where Mackey was killed. Neighbors gathered with pastors Sunday over a barbecue dinner to discuss crime in the community and to call on police to hold their own accountable.