On the night of Jan. 5, an off-duty cop in his personal vehicle chased and hunted down Alexander Gonzales through the streets of Austin, Tex., for allegedly cutting him off in traffic. Gonzales pulled to the side of the road after the plainclothes cop shot into his car, and on-duty officers arrived on the scene as “backup,” killing Gonzales within minutes.
In shooting at Alexander Gonzales, the off-duty and on-duty cops wounded his fiancé and narrowly missed shooting their baby.
The killing happened only a block away from where police killed Mike Ramos just months ago.
‘Don’t make me shoot you again, man!‘
The deadly encounter was initiated by a still-unnamed officer who, while out of uniform, off the job, and in his personal vehicle, claims that Gonzales was “following” him and “flashed a gun” at him. Because the cop was off-duty, no bodycam footage exists to confirm any aspect of his story.
In response, the officer immediately opened fire on the car, shooting into the backseat where Gonzales’ 2-month-old baby was sitting. He then initiated a car chase.
The officer cornered Gonzales in a nearby apartment complex, where video from a resident partially captured what happened next. The officer reported over his radio that Gonzales’ fiance “appeared wounded,” i.e., that he had shot her, and that she was lying on the ground next to the car.
Gonzales stepped out of the car and the cop immediately began screaming, “Put your gun down! Don’t make me shoot you again, man!” He continued screaming, “Put your gun down!” as on-duty officers arrived on the scene.
Two additional squad cars arrived and police, guns drawn, ordered Gonzales to step away from the vehicle and turn around. Bystander video shows him initially complying with these orders, but then moving back toward his car. He went to the backseat, where his infant child sat. Bullets, shot by the off-duty cop, had passed through the car just feet from the baby.
The police, screaming frantically, then fired at least 10 shots, killing Alex Gonzales. The on-duty, uniformed police were only on the scene for 72 seconds before they began shooting.
Gonzales’ cousin, Shayna Plummer, says he was almost certainly just checking on his young child, not reaching for a gun: “I feel like he was checking on his baby, his baby was screaming, the mother just got shot by an off-duty cop, he was checking on his baby.”
APD’s story doesn’t make any sense
Austin PD’s version of events is contradictory and nonsensical on multiple levels.
The vague and incomplete story told by the off-duty officer is that Gonzales cut him off, simultaneously flashing a gun at him. No motive has been released for why Gonzales would do this. The cop, without hesitation, wildly drew his weapon and fired into Gonzales’ car. Images of the car show that there were indeed shots through the rear driver’s side window, confirming that the cop was either able to draw his gun in a split second and begin firing, or perhaps already had his gun drawn before Gonzales began passing him.
It has not been confirmed how far the cop chased Gonzales before he stopped, or to what level they interacted before the cop fired his weapon.
According to the earliest reporting, Gonzales cutting off the cop was the central precipitating factor to his killing, showing that road rage by an off-duty cop could be the central factor in this killing.
In the video of the execution, an officer can be heard repeatedly commanding Gonzales to “put your gun down!” Yet when on-duty cops arrive, they shout at him to stay away from the vehicle, because they apparently suspect the gun is inside.
APD claims that they found a gun in the area that they linked to Gonzales, but they have not released bodycam footage of the killing.
Justice for Alex Gonzales! Jail killer cops!
This is the second police killing in the East Riverside area in less than a year. Last April, police killed Mike Ramos outside a nearby apartment complex, sparking an uprising of tens of thousands of people as part of the nationwide revolt against racism.
The off-duty cop that initiated Alex Gonzales’ killing is on paid administrative leave, and the city currently does not plan to fire him or prosecute him. This is in spite of the fact that APD officers are trained not to intervene in situations if at all possible when off-duty.
It is ridiculous that this cop is being allowed to get away with this killing. In addition to Gonzales’s killing, this cop and the other on-duty officer put an infant and an innocent woman at deadly risk. Only a small portion of what happened the night of Jan. 5 has been released, and what has been released has been filtered through the notoriously racist and murderous Austin Police Department.
Justice for Alex Gonzales! Jail killer cops!