‘Trigger-happy hothead’ cop who shot dead 13-year-old boy gets to keep his job
A police officer who fatally shot a 13-year-old boy who stole a car won't face charges for the killing.
Andre 'AJ' Hernandez, 13, reversed into a police car while driving a stolen Toyota Corolla after they approached the vehicle on June 3, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas.
In harrowing footage of the moments that followed the teen was shot by officer Stephen Ramos, who was responding with a partner to reports of gunfire involving the red vehicle, reports the Mail.
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Ramos's partner, identified as 'Espinoza', opened the door of the police vehicle at 1.22am on War Cloud Street, when Ramos warns him: "Don't let him ram you!"
Espinoza opens the driver's side door, shouting to the kids: "Let me see your hands!"
He quickly closed the door as the hijacked vehicle crashed into them.
In his report, Ramos described the moment saying he "believed the driver of the vehicle was using his vehicle as a deadly weapon to attempt to kill Officer Espinoza".
He added he "fired one shot at the driver of the vehicle to stop the threat to Officer Espinoza".
Ramos then gets out of the passenger side door and takes out his weapon, firing one round, notifying dispatch.
Hernandez steps out of the car and says "I'm shot, sir" before collapsing on the ground.
One of the passengers is then heard begging the cops to call Hernandez's family: "Grab my phone! May you please grab my phone, sir? Please call his family! Sir!"
He was taken to a hospital with a wound to his abdomen and was later pronounced dead.
Hernandez's family and attorney Lee Merritt have since argued that the officers would have been able to see there were kids in the car and claimed the car wasn't going fast enough to have caused harm to Espinoza.
The victim's family have since branded Officer Ramos a "trigger-happy hothead".
It was later revealed that officer Ramos had killed a man just months before shooting the 13-year-old.
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However, Ramos has not been indicted for either death he was behind the trigger for.
In this case, the Bexar County District Attorney ruled that Ramos had fired the shot to protect Espinoza from "unjustified harm".
In a statement, District Attorney Joe Gonzales' office said: "It was reasonable for Officer Ramos to believe that Officer Espinoza was standing outside of his vehicle and was therefore being threatened with deadly force by the red Toyota as it accelerated towards him."
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