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SAPD officer testifies on why he shot Marquise Jones

Testimony contradicts family's belief Jones was unarmed

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police Officer Robert Encina spent nearly three hours on the stand Monday describing how a suspected drunken driving incident in 2014 escalated when Marquise Jones raised his weapon as he got out of a car.

“There is no doubt in my mind. I saw the revolver in his hand and saw him turn toward me,” Encina said.

During cross-examination, Encina admitted Jones never fired his gun or pointed it at him.

He said if he'd waited until then, "I'd be dead by now."

RELATED: Big money focus of testimony in Marquise Jones civil rights violation trial

His testimony contradicts the Jones family’s belief that the officer shot an unarmed man. The family is seeking unspecified damages in federal court, accusing Encina and the city of San Antonio of violating Jones’ civil rights.

Encina was working off-duty at a popular Northeast Side Mexican restaurant when a green Cadillac rear-ended another vehicle in the drive-thru.

The officer testified that when he approached the driver’s side, he saw marijuana and alcohol in the vehicle, and a gun stashed between Jones’ legs as he sat in the front passenger seat.

Encina said he struggled to handcuff the driver after getting him out of the car, only to see Jones exiting the vehicle on the other side.

RELATED: Expert witness: Jones shooting investigation appeared to be a cover-up

Anthony Molina, a restaurant employee who was standing Encina, gave similar testimony, saying he saw Jones raise the revolver about chest high, toward himself and Encina.

Encina said that’s when he fired eight shots with his service weapon, with one hand, from the opposite side of the vehicle, as Jones ran from him. According to the autopsy cited earlier by Daryl Washington, the plaintiff’s attorney, Jones was struck once in the back, killing him.

Encina testified he called for backup after he fired his weapon, because he’d been trying to restrain the driver.

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