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Bexar County sheriff releases photos of struggle moments before deputy fatally shot man

Combat veteran killed was mentally unstable, suicidal, sheriff says

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Wednesday he is confident deputies did everything in their power to avoid using deadly force before one opened fire on a man following a two-minute struggle.

Damian Lamar Daniels, 31, was aggressive with deputies who tried to get him help outside his home in the 11000 block of Liberty Field on Tuesday, Salazar said. His death sparked demonstrations outside the Bexar County Jail on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, Salazar released photos of the deputies’ encounter with Daniels, a combat veteran who had been feeling suicidal, “in the interest of transparency and timeliness,” he said.

“I want to release some of these still photos just to show the public what it was our deputies ... were confronted with,” Salazar said. “And, quite frankly, I’m still really quite in awe of the restraint, the level of restraint, shown by our deputies.”

One photo, taken from a deputy’s body camera, shows Daniels with a bulge coming from his shirt that was later determined to be his gun.

Damian Lamar Daniels was armed when deputies encountered him outside his home on August 25, 2020, according to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.
Damian Lamar Daniels was armed when deputies encountered him outside his home on August 25, 2020, according to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar. (KSAT)

Daniels was erratic and grabbed a deputy’s stun gun, Salazar said.

Later on, Salazar says Daniels reached for his own gun, and deputies struggled with Daniels over the gun for more than two minutes before a deputy shot Daniels twice in the torso. Photos showed part of that struggle.

Damian Lamar Daniels was fatally shot by a Bexar County deputy following a two-minute struggle.
Damian Lamar Daniels was fatally shot by a Bexar County deputy following a two-minute struggle. (KSAT)

After the shooting, deputies recovered a gun and the knife from Daniels.

Daniels, who deputies had encountered multiple times in the past few days to check on his welfare, was grieving after the death of a sibling and a parent, Salazar said.

“I’m not happy with the outcome of it. I certainly wish that Mr. Daniels had not lost his life in this incident,” Salazar said.

Two veteran deputies and a trainee deputy have are being placed on administrative leave before being placed on administrative duty as standard procedure. Two separate investigations are currently underway.

The trainee, who only recently began working on patrol, has been with the agency for 16 years. The other deputies were a 23-year veteran with nine years of patrolling experience and a 14-year veteran with as much patrolling experience.


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