Just What Happened the Night a Garland Officer Shot a Suicidal Teen? Hard to Tell.
The Garland police officer involved in a shooting that left a suicidal 17-year-old boy dead on March 19 is back on duty after an administrative leave and departmental review, according to a department spokesperson. "That review has been done, and he's been released, and he's back on the streets," says Garland PD spokesperson Joe Harn, who directed any further questions to the Garland City Attorney's Office.
The officer in question, W.M. Green, is now a defendant in a lawsuit filed last week by the teen's family. Jose and Alicia Elizondo, the parents of Ruddy Elizondo, filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit in Dallas County District Court on May 12.
According to heavily redacted police reports obtained by Unfair Park, another officer reported that Green, who arrived first on the scene, fired in self-defense. "The offender then charged toward Officer Green in an aggressive manner with the knife. Fearing for his life, Officer Green fired his departmental issued handgun," reads the narrative by Officer J. M. Voelz.
However, Ruddy Elizondo's sister, who witnessed the incident, says her brother never threatened the officer. All the police reports are available after the jump.
Although the sister's testimony is critical to the pending lawsuit, says Geoff Henley, the family's lawyer, he believes he has a case even without it.
"Even if that were the gospel, Officer Green is still way off," says Henley.
The officer dispatched on a suicide call should not have entered a home alone, says Henley, nor should he have used a firearm when there are non-lethal options, including a Taser or rubber bullets.
"The Garland police treated a suicidal teen worse than we routinely treat convicts," says Henley.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.