‘I tried to de-escalate’: Federal civil trial begins for 2 BCSO deputies who fatally shot man in 2015

Witness video showed deputies firing at Gilbert Flores as his hands appeared to be raised

‘I tried to deescalate the whole time’: Federal civil trial begins for two BCSO deputies involved in 2015 deadly shooting

SAN ANTONIO – A federal civil trial started Monday for two Bexar County deputies who shot and killed a man in 2015.

Gilbert Flores was shot and killed after deputies responded to his Northwest side home for a disturbance call.

Flores’ wife, Maritza Amador, said he assaulted her while she was holding their newborn baby. When deputies arrived, Flores confronted them with a knife.

Video emerged after the shooting from a bystander that showed Flores in a 12-minute confrontation with deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez outside the home.

Moments leading up to shots being fired, it appears that Flores had surrendered and had his hands up.

Image courtesy Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly after the fatal shooting, Flores’ widow and family filed a lawsuit.

The federal civil trial started Monday and on Tuesday, Deputy Greg Vasquez was questioned on the stand.

Vasquez was the first deputy at the scene and the first one to fire a shot at Flores.

“I was trying to de-escalate the whole time I was there,” Vasquez said on the stand.

Vasquez explained that Flores had lunged at him several times with his knife, taken his stun gun after striking him with it and was also looking inside his patrol unit.

“The situation was getting bad to worse,” Vasquez said.

Lawyers for the Flores family pushed Vasquez on the fact that Flores had his hands up and doesn’t appear to be lunging at him when he fired the shot.

Vasquez responded by saying Flores was still a threat until he drops the knife.

A video shot by a bystander was shown to the jury and it was shown frame by frame during testimony by a forensics digital analyst.

The analyst concluded that, for about four seconds, Flores’ hands, the knife he was holding and his feet were not moving when the deputies fired two shots at him.

No specific dollar amount has been listed in this lawsuit but the family is seeking compensation for the following:

  • conscious pain, suffering and mental anguish that decedent suffered prior to his death
  • reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of Gilbert Flores’injuries leading to his wrongful death
  • reasonable and necessary funeral and burial expenses incurred as a result of Gilbert Flores’ wrongful death
  • the past and future loss of support arising from the death of Gilbert Flores
  • loss of consortium
  • loss of inheritance
  • severe mental anguish that each Plaintiff has suffered and will, in reasonable probability, continue to suffer in the future
  • the past and future loss of companionship and society arising from the death of Gilbert Flores.


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.