Two weeks ago FOX 4 reported on a family suing Kaufman County for the wrongful death of their son. Now reporter James Rose has uncovered new information and presents a new perspective on the deadly police shooting.
Gabriel Winzer was killed by Kaufman County deputies and DPS troopers in April 2013. Dash camera video tells part of the story. The officers were investigating reports of a man firing a gun.
Speaking from inside a Central Texas prison, Henry Winzer said he watched bullets tear through his 25-year-old son as he rode his bike toward officers.
“They just opened up fire. I saw the first shot go through his right shoulder and come out the rear,” he said. “As he was crawling away they was continuing to shoot at him.”
The newly released medical examiner’s report states Gabe was shot four times – in the chest, thigh and left shoulder and then once in the back shoulder. That last bullet traveled to the back of his head.
“You know, I didn't know what to do. So, I started to give him mouth to mouth, but he was still breathing after I put my mouth on his mouth. I thought that's not going to help, but I was desperate,” Winzer said. “Gabe said, ‘Save me daddy.’ And I, all I could do is commend him to the hands of God."
In sworn affidavits, two troopers and three Kaufman sheriff’s deputies said they feared for their lives when they opened fire. They fired 29 rounds from 100 to 150 yards away.
Winzer admits his son had a toy gun on him. Court records show it was found next to his body. But he doesn't believe his son every pointed it at officers.
“Yes, he had his plastic gun with him. It was in his belt of the robe,” the father said.
So how did Winzer end up in prison? He said it started while he was trying to save his son.
“I made a gesture with my thumb pointing at him on the ground and they began to Tase me behind the ear and in the back,” he said.
Winzer said the Taser caused him to fall onto several of the officers. The sheriff’s department also claimed he bit one of the officers.
“That’s also fallacy,” he said. “There’s no teeth marks or evidence on the arm, no bit impression, no redness… just a cover up.”
FOX 4 reviewed case records from Winzer’s trial. One officer testified he was bitten on the arm, but he did not require medical attention.
“They declared my teeth a deadly weapon, put an all-white jury on me and in less than 10 minutes I was out of there,” he said.
Despite being convicted and sentenced to five years in prison at the Bartlett State Jail, Winzer said he is not angry anymore.
“Anger and violence is not going to bring my son back,” he said.
The Texas Rangers investigated the five officers and a grand jury did not find any wrong doing. Winzer was denied parole in October. He’ll be eligible again in April.