A 38-year-old man was fatally shot by police in Houston, who say he was pointing his a gun at officers and refused to drop it.
He was identified by his family as Alva Braziel, the Houston Chronicle reports. His wife told the newspaper her husband was out looking for his horse, which had been stolen.
Though many have said on social media that Braziel was shot 10 times, it has not been confirmed how many times he was hit.
Witnesses told KPRC-TV that Braziel never pointed the gun at the officers.
The officers have not yet been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Braziel was killed early Saturday morning, July 9, amid scrutiny on police shootings following the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. It also came after five police officers were killed and seven others were wounded in an attack by a gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, who said he was angry about recent police shootings.
Update: Videos from the scene have been released by Houston Police. You can watch the videos at the link below:
Read the original story below.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Surveillance Video From a Gas Station Shows Braziel Before He Was Shot
The shooting happened about 12:40 a.m. in the southeast part of the city, near a gas station on Cullen Boulevard, police told the Houston Chronicle.
Two gang unit officers were in the area on routine patrol, police said. There had been no calls for a man with a gun. Houston Police Department spokeswoman Jodi Silva told the Chronicle:
In center of Cullen at Ward, they encounter a suspect standing in the middle of the street armed with a revolver. The officers merely on-viewed this suspect standing in the street armed with a gun. As they (police officers) exited their vehicle, they gave multiple commands to the suspect to drop the weapon and to show his hands and to cooperate. As they’re doing this, the suspect raises his weapon initially as to point it towards the air. After that, as the officers continue speaking, the suspect then points his weapon in the direction of the officers. The officers, in fear of their safety, discharged their duty weapons.
The incident was recorded on a surveillance video camera at a nearby gas station. You can watch the video above.
Police said they recovered a gun at the scene, which you can see below:
Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo said in a statement that the man may have been under the influence of narcotics.
“The investigation into the overnight officer-involved shooting incident is still in its early stages and very active. As we have stated, a male armed with a gun pointed the gun at our officers and two officers discharged their weapons to protect their lives,” Montalvo said in the statement. “We extend condolences to the man’s family and regret his loss of life.”
2. The Officers Were Wearing Body Cameras, but the Footage Has Not Been Released
The two unnamed police officers were wearing body cameras during the incident, and a dashboard camera also recorded the shooting, KTRK-TV reports.
That footage has not yet been made public.
One of the officers is a 13-year veteran and the other has been with the Houston Police Department for 10 years, the Houston Chronicle reports.
They have both been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
Both officers fired their weapons, KHOU-TV reports. The officers began providing medical aid to Braziel, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police have not provided any updates on the shooting since Saturday and have not confirmed Braziel’s name.
3. Braziel, Whose Nickname Was ‘Groucho,’ Was Married & Had Children
Braziel, whose nickname was “Groucho,” according to his Facebook page, was married and was a father.
He has been married for more than two years, his wife told the Houston Chronicle.
His brother, Keon Jefferson, said Braziel had two jobs, at Jack in the Box and as a mechanic. He called the shooting “overkill,” and confirmed his brother was out looking for a stolen horse, the Chronicle reports.
“I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to say,” Jefferson told the newspaper.
About the police claims his brother pointed a gun at them, Jefferson said, “I don’t believe that.”
4. He Was a Felon & Was Therefore Not Legally Allowed to Have a Gun
Braziel was a felon and was not legally allowed to have a gun, the Houston Chronicle reports.
He had been arrested more than 12 times in Harris County since 2000, mainly for drug possession charges, but also for burglary of a vehicle, resisting arrest and evading detention, according to the Chronicle.
In 2001 he was charged with unlawful carry of a weapon and spent 60 days in jail. He pleaded guilty that same year to felony possession of phencyclidine, known as PCP or angel dust, and spent six months in prison.
He was charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon in 2004, but the case was dropped, the newspaper reports.
5. Protesters Gathered at the Scene of the Shooting to Call for Justice
On Saturday, #AlvaBraziel was trending nationwide on Twitter. Family members and protesters gathered at the site of the shooting to call for justice for Braziel.
“I could be next. Anybody could be next, but it’s all about the way we conduct ourselves out here,” Erick Puckett told KPRC-TV. “We got to just start walking better and doing better as a community.”
On Sunday, a March for Peace prayer walk was held.
The protests were peaceful and no arrests or other incidents were reported.