SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police officer who shot and killed a woman she was attempting to take into custody for an emergency medical detention was suspended for seven days -- the result of a series of mistakes she made while handling the incident, records obtained by The Defenders show.
On Jan. 27, Officer Crystal Estrada was sent to a home in the 13600 block of Bluff Circle for a welfare check. There, she talked to Kirsten Kloppe and decided to take her into custody. However, Kloppe ran upstairs and was eventually found "barricaded behind an attic or closet door," records said.
Another officer - Roland Pacheco - and a police cadet - Ricardo Neri - showed up at the home to help with the situation.
"While searching for a tool to unlock and/or pry open the closet/attic door, Officer Estrada discovered a handgun magazine," the document said.
The officers "decided to force their way through the door where they found Ms. Kloppe holding a handgun," the document said. The other officer tried to grab the handgun and struggled with her.
"During the struggle for the weapon in the small and tight space, Officer Estrada ordered and/or told Cadet Neri to help Officer Pacheco disarm Ms. Kloppe. Officer Estrada, fearing for Officer Pacheco and Cadet Neri's safety, fired a single gunshot into Ms. Kloppe's left torso," the document said.
Kloppe died at a hospital.
During their investigation into the shooting, police counted the ammunition of Estrada's duty weapon and "discovered one live round in the chamber and thirteen live rounds in the magazine. In Officer Estrada's two spare duty magazines, one magazine had fifteen rounds and the other had fourteen rounds. Based on the fact that Officer Estrada had fired one round into Ms. Kloppe's torso, there should have been only one round missing from her duty weapon, and fifteen live rounds in each of her two spare magazines," the document said.
Police said that was a violation of department policy. The document also said, "Officer Estrada failed to use sound judgment when she ordered and/or told Cadet Neri, an unarmed civilian, to enter a dangerous situation; Officer Estrada failed to identify the situation of Ms. Kloppe barricaded behind a door/attic after finding a handgun magazine in the hallway as a critical incident."
Estrada initially faced a 30-day suspension, but the discipline was reduced after meeting with Chief William McManus. She also agreed to several terms, including undergoing training. Estrada, who served her sentence from Aug. 14-20, returned to work on administrative duty, where she will remain until McManus gives her an assignment.
Estrada was one of 10 San Antonio police officers and firefighters who were disciplined in the last month. The San Antonio Police Department fired Stephanie Solis for shoplifting. The San Antonio Fire Department suspended Lt. Kenneth Campbell for bringing an unauthorized weapon to work and suspended Firefighter Jason Persyn for giving people an unauthorized ride on a fire engine.
The following officers also received suspensions:
- Officer Isaac Botello, three-day suspension without pay. Botello struck a vehicle while on duty in a city-owned vehicle on Feb. 25.
- Officer Jason Ramirez, two-day suspension without pay. Ramirez was cited for not submitting reports "in a timely manner," including one for a use of force/felony arrest that happened on May 13. Police said that report was not submitted until Ramirez returned from vacation more than two weeks later.
- Officer Kenneth Williams, one-day suspension without pay. Williams continued a vehicle pursuit without authorization and failed to turn on his body-worn camera.
- Officer Alex Solchenberger, three-day suspension held in abeyance for one year. Solchenberger struck a vehicle while on duty in a city-owned vehicle on May 5.
- Officer Travis Hazelton, two-day suspension without pay. Hazelton used "profane language" while responding to a fight call and used "open/empty hand techniques" to get one of the persons involved in the fight to comply with his attempt to detain her. Hazelton also did not write a report for the incident.
- Officer Aaron Dial, five-day suspension without pay. Dial struck a vehicle while on duty in a city-owned vehicle on April 15.