Police: Grapevine officer involved in deadly shooting won't talk yet

Ruben Garcia Villapondo, the man shot and killed by a Grapevine police officer last week, was laid to rest Thursday.

Euless police, who are investigating the shooting, said that they are still interviewing witnesses and waiting on autopsy toxicology results, but they have not interviewed the officer involved in the shooting because the officer's lawyer won't let him talk.

Euless police say that as they continue investigating the shooting, the most important thing in what they are trying to do is identify all possible witnesses.

"This isn't a matter of who done it; this is a matter of collecting all the evidence and bringing it forward to the district attorney's office," said Lt. Eric Starnes with the Euless Police Department.

That's why Euless police don't want the dash-cam video of Officer Robert Clark shooting Villapando released just yet. They say it would only add to investigative hurdles.

"First, there's a problem of people claiming to have seen something that they did not, leaving us to determine whether the information is factual or false," said Starnes. "The second problem is contamination of fact witnesses that we still have to take statements from."

There are reportedly at least 12 witnesses so far, including a driver who shared cell phone video with FOX 4. It's not the clearest, but shows Villapondo before the shooting with his hands up, and at times, on his head.

 It's not the only video that police are bringing into focus.

"We're in the process of trying to retrace Mr. Villapando's steps from that night," said Starnes. "We are collecting video from locations that he had been that day."

Officer Clark had been with the Grapevine PD for nine months. Prior to that, he worked eight months with D/FW Airport police.

He will reportedly provide a sworn statement about the incident.

Regarding what factors caused Clark to fear for his life and use deadly force, Starnes said, "In reviewing the video, a failure to comply with commands is what we can see. Without the officer's statement, l....you know…"

Starnes said that once the investigation is complete, it will be up to the Grapevine PD to make its own decisions about making the video public.


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