Our Texas personal injury lawyers at
Guerra & Farah, PLLC are representing the family of 17-year-old Jonathen Santellana, who was
killed after being shot several times by an off-duty Navasota police officer.
The shooting occurred at the Villages of Copperfield apartments in Houston
on November 13th.
The off-duty officer, who lives in the apartment complex, had just returned
home from work when he claims he saw suspicious activity in a vehicle,
possibly involving drugs. Jonathen and a female passenger where sitting
in his car when the officer approached the vehicle to investigate. The
car was quickly put into reverse and pinned the officer, who sustained
only minor injuries. The officer then shot at the vehicle numerous times,
which caused Jonathen to lose control of his vehicle and crash into a
car and a truck that someone was sitting in.
The officer claims that he identified himself when he walked up to the
vehicle and tried to talk to Jonathen and the female passenger. The man
told detectives that the victim then threw the car into reverse to pin
him, and he used his weapon because he believed that his life was in danger.
The officer, who has been placed on administrative leave, says that he
was only meant to hit the car's tires.
The female passenger has also been interviewed by law enforcement, and
she gives a very different account of the incident. The young woman says
that they were sitting in the car when a man ran up to the vehicle waving
a gun. The man never identified himself, and she and Jonathen thought
the man was trying to rob them.
As they were driving away the officer fired his weapon at the teens, and
neighbors reported hearing multiple shots. The woman said that the officer
was not aiming for the car's tires, but rather at the windows and
the young passengers inside. Jonathen was killed by a single gunshot wound
to the chest.
The off duty officer lived in the complex where he shot Jonathen and residents
say that he has been involved in controversy before. One tenant said that
the man is known for bullying people around the complex. Friends described
Jonathen as a "good kid", and his loved ones are still looking
for answers and trying to determine what really happened.
Law enforcement expected investigations into the incident to last for several
months. We will keep you informed about updates to this case as they become