TRAGEDY ON POWERS: Man shot by police following disturbance


Pictured is the residence of the incident, where the front window appeared shattered. Below the driveway is a patch of blood from the shooting.
(Photo by David Lopez)

A San Benito neighborhood was shaken by a police-involved shooting late Wednesday night.

At 11 p.m. on August 19, San Benito Police officers responded to an alleged domestic disturbance on East Powers Street near its intersection with South Bonham.

According to an updated SBPD press release,  Officer Oscar Lara arrived to find Samuel Mata, 21, and his mother arguing about the use of a vehicle. The mother was attempting to prevent Mr. Mata from driving off in her car when a physical altercation ensued. Officer Lara attempted to de-escalate the situation when Mr. Mata brandished a revolver and pointed it at his mother and subsequently at Officer Lara.

Lara then discharged his weapon, striking Mata.

Officers then administered CPR to the male but he later succumbed to his injuries.

Officers at the scene recovered a loaded revolver in the subject’s possession.

In an interview with reporters the day after the incident, Samuel’s sister, April, assured that her brother was unarmed.

“He was not armed,” she said. “I think they need to be held responsible for what they do. I think they’re policemen and they think they can get away with [expletive]. It might have flown last time but it’s not gonna fly this time. I’m gonna make sure I get justice for my brother.”

Furthermore, April said Samuel was shot four times in front of their mother.

“I’m hurt by the fact that my brother was killed in front of my mom by a police officer. He didn’t say ‘Get on the ground,’ he didn’t tase him, he shot him four times in front of his mother,” April said.

The Texas Rangers have initiated an investigation into the incident. SBPD Detectives and administration are assisting the Rangers in the investigation, read the SBPD’s press release.

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