Attorney suggests Grapevine officer left the scene after fatally shooting unarmed suspect
An alleged witness now says police were nowhere to be seen after a Grapevine police officer fatally shot Ruben Garcia Villapondo.
Patricia Murphy stood with an attorney for Villapondo's family Thursday and told reporters her side of the story.
She claimed to be about 12 feet away from his body, which she said was lying on the street by his vehicle. There were no officers and no patrol cars at the scene for three to five minutes until an ambulance arrived, she said.
"I think the officer panicked and left because he knew he did something wrong," said Domingo Garcia, the attorney for Villapondo's family.
Garcia plans to take legal action to force police to release dash cam video of the shooting.
Villapondo, a 31-year-old Mexican national, was shot and killed by Officer Robert Clark on Feb. 20.
Officer Clark was responded to a business alarm and spotted Villapondo in a car on the side of the business. When the officer turned on his lights, Villapondo took off at a high speed, police said.
The chase ended in Euless and Villapondo got out of the car with his hands up. But police said he walked toward the officer and refused to stop even after being told to do so. That's when Officer Clark fired two shots.
The Euless Police Department is handling the case and does not want to release the dash cam video until the investigation is complete.
"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, a spokesman for the department.
Releasing the video would only add to investigative hurdles and possibly contaminate witness statements, he said.
Lt. Starnes said officers talked to Murphy shortly after the shooting. Her statements at the time placed her much farther away from the crime scene.
"I will assure the public that Mr. Villapondo was not left alone after he went down. At least one officer stayed with him until advanced life support arrived," Lt. Eric Starnes.
A spokesman for the Grapevine Police Department also said Murphy's account simply isn't true.