Confusion Reigns: Parents Question Officers Use of Lethal Force

Jaime Gonzalez Jr.'s parents don't understand why Brownsville officers shot their son three times, but a 911 reveals that police asked the eighth-grader to drop his gun several times.
Sat January 7, 2012 2:56 am
Associate Press/Brownsville Herald | Brad Doherty

{media number=1 align=left}{/media}Jaime Gonzalez, Jr., the fifteen-year-old student shot and killed by police at his Brownsville middle school Wednesday, will be buried Saturday, the Associated Press reported. But the boy's parents remained furious with police, accusing them of using excessive force against their son, who had brought a pellet gun to school.

San Antonio Express-News 's Lynn Brezosky and Jason Buch filed piece from Brownsville chronicling the parents' hurt and anger. “Why was so much excess force used on a minor? . . . Three shots. Why not one that would bring him down?” Jaime Gonzalez, Sr. asked, according to the Express-News.

The Associated Press described Jaime, an eigth grader at Cummings Middle School, as a "a drum major who danced in his church’s annual religious festival, stayed out of gangs and had two parents who closely watched him."
 
When the 911 call came in, thirty officers were sent to the school, which had 750 students inside. Amidst the chaos of the 911 call, the police can be heard repeatedly telling to eighth-grader to drop his weapon, according to the Brownsville Herald 's Madeline Buckley and Laura B. Martinez. “Put it down, put it down . . . put the gun down. Put it on the floor," the officers said. Jaime instead pointed it at officers, who fired, police and school officials have said. (The gun, which resembled a Glock semiautomatic handgun, turned out to be a pellet gun.)

An autopsy revealed Jaime was shot twice, in the chest and abdomen, but his family maintains he was also shot in the head, Buckley and Martinez reported.

“I saw the wounds, in the chest, in the heart,” Noralva Gonzalez told the San Antonio Express News . “I'm not crazy. He was hit in the head, from behind. He was a boy, like any boy. They didn't have the right to do that.”

LISTEN to the 911 call:

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