Witnesses say Flores deliberately aimed pistol at police officers — (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)

SSRI Ed note: Man on antidepressants, sleeping pills and alcohol engages in standoff with police, points gun, is shot, charged.

Original article no longer available

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


Tuesday, February 17, 2009   Story last updated at 2/17/2009 – 10:56 pm

Domingo Flores Jr. deliberately raised a pistol at police officers before he was shot in the arm, witnesses testified Tuesday.

Officer Chris Miller of the Lubbock Police Department explained to jurors in Flores’ aggravated assault trial his thought process the instant before he shot Flores.

“He was actually pointing the gun at me and I was in fear for my life,” Miller said. “It was gonna be him or me, and I decided it wasn’t gonna be me.”

Flores is on trial for threatening peace officers with a .38 caliber handgun during a May 2007 drug- and alcohol-induced escapade in front of his house in the 1300 block of 39th Street.

Police video shows Flores fired the gun at least once before Miller shot him.

Flores’ attorneys maintain Flores is not guilty because, even though officers felt threatened and used deadly force in accordance with LPD procedure, Flores was not actually intending to threaten officers.

At least three officers demonstrated Flores’ actions for the jury, and although the exact angle and pitch of their arms were not identical, the fact that he raised a loaded gun in the direction of peace officers replayed throughout the afternoon.

Defense testimony could begin today in the 364th District Court, and Chuck Lanehart, one of Flores’ attorneys, told jurors they would hear a different story than what they’ve heard over the last two days.

Lanehart said Flores is not the type of man to threaten officers and was depressed when he mixed prescription pills with alcohol and took his pistol to the street.

Police Sgt. Phil Johnson testified there were two nearly empty bottles of prescription sleeping pills and a sleeve missing 12 anti-depressant pills in the backyard where Flores began his gunplay.

Lanehart said an enhanced video will show Flores was not pointing his gun at police, but rather raising it in the air.

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