SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and Bexar County filed a response to claims made in a lawsuit filed by the family of Gilbert Flores.
Deputy Robert Sanchez and Deputy Greg Vasquez fatally shot Flores on Aug. 28 while responding to a domestic disturbance in front of a home on the 24000 block of Walnut Pass.
The suit filed by Flores’ wife, children, mother and father quotes former FBI special agent Dr. Philip Hayden, who said, “When Mr. Flores raised his hands, he was not an immediate threat to the officers.”
The original complaint says Hayden was an FBI Special Agent for over 15 years who trained agents and wrote instructional manuals for the FBI.
The shooting death of Flores was captured on cellphone video, which shows Flores raise his hands in the seconds before he was shot.
In the video, one of Flores’ hands is obscured after he raised it.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office says Flores had a knife.
BCSO has said it obtained a second video depicting the shooting, but that video has not been made public.
In the response filed, Bexar County and BCSO deny Hayden’s assertion that “the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable and there was no probable cause to use deadly force.”
Bexar County and BCSO also deny allegations made by Flores’ family that the policies of BCSO are “vague and conflicting” when it comes to the use of deadly force.
Flores’ family also makes strong allegations against Vasquez and Sanchez, claiming they allowed Flores “to lay on the lawn, dying, without assistance” and that they used “an excessive and/or unnecessary use of force.”
Bexar County and BCSO responded by saying they have “insufficient evidence to admit or deny the allegations” made against the deputies and that Vasquez and Sanchez “can better respond to the allegations in regard to their own actions.”
There was one item named in the suit on which all parties could agree: the preservation of evidence.
The family requested a temporary restraining order to preserve all evidence in its original form, including all videos depicting the shooting.
Bexar County and BCSO “admit to an Agreed Preservation of Evidence Agreement” in their response.
The county and BCSO requested the court first decide whether Vasquez and Sanchez will be held liable for the death of Flores before deciding if the county and BCSO will be held liable.
Attorneys representing both sides are scheduled to attend a hearing in federal court in San Antonio on Oct. 7.