Report on BCSO deputy’s fatal shooting of Nicholas Norris leaves out sheriff’s claims

Sheriff claimed that deputy opened fire after he was dragged by suspect

Nicholas Norris, right, smiles for a picture with his mother, Stephanie Norris. (Contributed photo, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A report about Nicholas Norris, who was fatally shot by a Bexar County sheriff’s deputy in September, submitted to the Office of the Attorney General raises some questions about the initial account of the shooting provided by Sheriff Javier Salazar.

By law, agencies are required to report peace officer shootings and custodial deaths to the attorney general’s office. In the report on Norris’ death, key claims made by Salazar after the shooting were left off of the summary.

On Sept. 30, deputies were allegedly called about Norris scaring customers at a convenience store. Norris, who his family said was suffering from a mental health crisis, sped off in his car when deputies arrived at the scene.

Deputies encountered him later that day, driving erratically around Potranco Road, Salazar told reporters at the scene. A deputy, later identified as Joseph Trevino, tried to take Norris into custody when he attempted to drive off again and a struggle ensued. Trevino opened fire on Norris before he was brought into custody. Norris later died of his injuries.

Salazar mentioned that he obtained a video from a witness that showed Trevino being dragged during the incident.

“We do know that a deputy was dragged by this suspect vehicle at some time,” he said at the scene.

But in the report submitted to the attorney general’s office, which was first covered by the San Antonio Express-News, the alleged dragging is not mentioned.

“(Norris) began to drive away and the deputy discharged his duty weapon at (Norris),” according to the report. “(Norris), and his vehicle, traveled a short distance and the decedent was taken into custody.”

Though Salazar said after the shooting that law enforcement officers had taken Norris to the hospital on previous interactions for mental health assistance, the report submitted to the AG stated that it was “unknown” whether Norris exhibited any mental health problems.

Norris’ family has hired attorneys to help them review the case.

“Nick was a beautiful and gentle soul and abhorred violence. His brothers and I always did our best to protect him as much as possible his whole life and can’t believe we were not there to help him at that moment when he needed it,” said Thomas Norris, Nicholas’ father. “He did not deserve to die, and our family is devastated by this tragic end to his life.”

According to his family, Norris was in severe emotional distress after the loss of his mother, Stephanie Norris, who died of COVID-19.

About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.