By DAVID LOPEZ
Special to the NEWS
The Texas Rangers are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred during the afternoon hours of Friday, December 7, which resulted in the shooting death of 21-year old Ricardo Treviño III whom was fatally shot by San Benito Police following a high speed chase.
According to a statement issued by the City of San Benito that Friday evening, “The Texas Rangers are on the scene of an incident overseeing an investigation that resulted in a fatality south of Los Indios. The incident began with a call for service to the San Benito Police Department that included several members of the department. The officers involved have been placed on administrative desk duty, as per policies and procedures where fatalities are involved.”
The chase began at approximately 3:07 p.m. Friday after a San Benito Police Officer approached Treviño’s vehicle near the 400 blk. East Expressway 83 following a call regarding Treviño’s welfare; EMS had been called to care for Treviño who had allegedly suffered some type of reaction upon taking what may have been medication. Treviño then panicked and drove off. According to a press release from Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Johnny Hernandez, Treviño refused to stop and evaded law enforcement in his vehicle.
San Benito Mayor Ben Gomez declined to comment Friday evening out of respect for the family and the investigation, adding that he suggested to his staff and his fellow city commissioners to do the same. Gomez added that more information will be released at a further date.
Treviño livestreamed the chase on Facebook. In the 20-plus minutes of footage, Treviño can be seen driving as the camera lay in the passenger seat, pointed upwards towards him. The phone shifts and falls as Treviño is chased by police. During the video, Treviño can be heard cursing at the police and damning his step-father, police supervisor Arturo Flores. Also heard is his cell phone ringing.
The shooting happened during the last five minutes of the video. Treviño can be seen seemingly shifting his gear fully forward and yelling, “They’re gonna kill me!” multiple times. Shots seemingly ring out, but Treviño appears unfazed. Then, another shot rings out and Treviño instinctively reaches for his forehead with his left hand. Then multiple gunshots are heard ringing out as their impact is visible on the victim, who then falls over. Police officers can be heard nearby saying, “EMS is on its way,” while gurgles can be heard from Treviño as he struggles to breathe. Police are also heard saying “Turn it off,” likely referencing Treviño’s vehicle.
According to Lt. Hernandez’s press release, Treviño eventually stopped near a cul-de-sac north of Ranch Park Road in El Ranchito and once there, “the suspect drove towards a law enforcement vehicle and struck it head-on. Officers discharged their firearms, and the suspect was fatally wounded,” read the statement.
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