FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – New video released today shows the moments just before a Fort Worth officer shoots and kills a robbery suspect at The Gas Pipe on Camp Bowie Boulevard. A grand jury cleared Officer Eduardo Gasca of any wrongdoing by not indicting him.
Three cameras captured the moment of the shooting and were released on a single screen but synchronized so the viewer sees all three cameras simultaneously in real time. One view is from the police car’s dash camera and the other two are from body cameras mounted on the officers’ epaulettes. The camera of Gasca is marked as Primary Officer on the video. The other officer’s camera is labeled Assist Officer.
The video shows officers approaching the side of the store and try to peer inside. Suddenly, a female store clerk coming out of the store.
The officers shout, “Get down! Get down!”
She goes to the ground with her hands behind her head apparently sobbing.
“Are you an employee?” the assisting officer asks.
When she says yeas, the assisting officers immediately lifts her up to take her to the safety of the squad car.
“Just watch,” the assisting officer tells Officer Gasca referring to the store entrance.
Gasca covers their retreat and you can see from his perspective his gun at the ready. Two cameras show 55 year old Gilbert Reyna rush out of the store toward the Gasca. Police say he was carrying a bat and a screwdriver.
Gasca begins back-peddling with his gun pointing at Reyna.
“Get down on the ground!” Gasca yelled. “Get down!”
By that time, Reyna had closed the distance on the retreating Gasca who fired once, hitting Reyna in the chest. You can hear the baseball bat he was carrying hit the ground and Reyna groan an expletive as the officers yell for him to rollover onto his stomach. He does not move again on the clip released by police.
“Personally I say thank God those officers were wearing cameras,” said police department spokesperson Cpl. Tracey Knight. “It shows exactly what happened and the time that it happened in and it shows the public exactly what happened.
“He could have run away. He could have run in any different direction. Instead, he charged the officer. When he charged the officer, the officer retreated,” Knight said.
Despite having three cameras, officers say there is no replicating what the officers saw and felt in the heat of that moment.
“You’re never going to get that perfect point of view,” Knight said. “First of all with the adrenaline surge, everything just looks different, you know? Officers feel fear too. We’re trained to react to it and work through it. But, we’re people just like everybody else.”