Atascosa County deputy shoots and kills man holding knife in ‘aggressive manner,’ officials say

The man was a U.S. Navy veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – A deputy with the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly shot and killed a man outside of his home in Somerset.

The deputy killed 42-year-old Richard Viscarra, Jr., according to authorities.

Viscarra’s wife, April, told KSAT that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after retiring from the United States Navy. He served for eight years.

“It happened so fast,” she said.

Viscarra said she remembered her husband being shot right by their doorsteps, but she didn’t have to remember because the blood left behind on the steps was more than enough memory.

“I feel guilty for seeking help,” Viscarra said. “I felt so guilty for calling 911.”

Viscarra told KSAT that when she called 911, she explained to the operator that her husband suffered from PTSD.

“I thought for sure he was going to be OK because, normally, that’s how it’s been,” Viscarra said.

After a deputy arrived, Viscarra reported that her husband was arguing and punching the walls. Richard then came out with a knife.

Viscarra’s wife said her husband had initially pointed the knife at himself.

Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward shared a press release on Facebook around 3 p.m. on Saturday, more than 12 hours after the shooting.

Soward said Viscarra, “positioned the knife in his hand in an aggressive manner and advanced towards the deputy.” He said his deputies asked Viscarra to “drop the knife,” but he did not.

“The next thing I hear is… shots fired,” April Viscarra said.

According to the release, the deputy shot Viscarra four times. The release also said that after the shooting, April told deputies her husband had threatened suicide by cop during his episode.

She believes there were crucial steps that weren’t taken.

“Why wasn’t the taser deployed?” Viscarra asked.

It’s a question she hopes the sheriff’s department will answer.

“Do better. Don’t fail another veteran like the way you failed my husband,” Viscarra said.

The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department told KSAT that they had prior arrangements on Saturday and would not be able to do an interview.

About the Authors

Zaria Oates is a news reporter for KSAT 12. She joined in June 2024 from Memphis, where she worked at ABC24. Oates graduated from Clemens High School in Schertz and earned a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She's passionate about learning, traveling and storytelling.

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