AUSTIN, Texas - The attorneys representing the family of a man who was shot and killed by an Austin Police officer about three years ago are releasing testimony made by the officer. They said it contradicted his original statements.
"Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," Austin Police officer Gabriel Gutierrez said, during a deposition on Dec. 5, 2023, while demonstrating how he shot Alex Gonzales, Jr. about three years ago.
The incident was first described as a road rage incident with off-duty Officer Gutierrez, claiming Gonzales cut him off and flashed a gun. The attorneys for the Gonzales family said that’s not what happened.
"We hope that this information that we're releasing today at least is a first step in helping the public begin to have some basic understanding about what actually happened," Attorney Donald Puckett said.
Attorney Puckett said Officer Gutierrez was driving recklessly, then drew his gun and shot Gonzales and his girlfriend with their baby in the backseat. Officer Gutierrez then called 911 for back up.
"I have shots fired, 2400 Wickersham Lane," Officer Gutierrez is heard saying on the 911 call.
Two on-duty APD officers then arrived. Attorneys said when Gonzales walked to the passenger side of the vehicle to check on his son, Officer Luis Serrato shot Gonzales multiple times.
The Gonzales family filed civil lawsuits against the City of Austin, Officer Gutierrez, and Officer Serrato after a Travis County Grand Jury declined to indict the APD officers.
"The truth, that's all I want, is the truth," Alex Gonzales Jr.’s mother Elizabeth Gonzales said.
The lawsuit claims APD officers are trained to have a warrior mindset and hesitating to use lethal force would put the officer’s lives at risk. It also states the city’s policies and practices encourage disproportionate use of excessive force targeted towards Hispanic and Black people.
"The bad cops outweigh the good cops," Gonzales said.
On Monday, the Gonzales family also filed a formal complaint against Officer Gutierrez with the Office of Police Oversight, and is asking them to take a second look at this shooting. They’re also calling on the City of Austin to release the internal affairs file.
"So that the public can assess the quality of the internal affairs investigation that took place, so we can begin to think about whether there have been adequate accountability steps taken in respect to this case and what lessons can be learned about the way those issues are handled more broadly by APD," Puckett said.
Court documents said the City of Austin has not made or considered making changes to its police officer training specifically as a result of this incident.
Attorney Puckett said they want to have their day in court. The attorney for Officer Gutierrez didn’t have a comment to provide about the case. The attorney for Officer Serrato and the Office of Police Oversight hasn’t returned FOX 7’s request for comment.
The attorneys representing the Gonzales family said ultimately, they want APD to indefinitely suspend Officer Gutierrez from the department.