Cameron Langford | Courthouse News Service
LAREDO, Texas (CN) – The parents of a Texas sheriff’s deputy claim in court that a policewoman entered the reportedly suicidal deputy’s apartment without knocking or identifying herself and fatally shot him twice after his mother screamed, “Don’t shoot, he’s a cop!”
Cesar and Dora Cuellar sued the city of Laredo and LPD Officers Priscilla Hernandez and Estefania Gonzalez on Thursday in Laredo federal court.
The Cuellars say in the lawsuit that although their son Cesar Cuellar Jr., a Webb County sheriff’s deputy, was holding his service pistol when Hernandez fatally shot him, he never threatened Hernandez, nor her partner Gonzalez, and was pointing the gun to the ground.
Laredo, with a population of 248,142, is Webb County’s seat.
Hernandez and Gonzalez went to check on Cuellar on Nov. 19, 2015 at his Laredo apartment after his girlfriend told a dispatcher she was worried about him, according to the complaint.
Gonzalez had just started with the department and Hernandez was training her, the lawsuit says.
His parents’ complaint doesn’t say Cuellar was suicidal, but KGNS, Laredo’s NBC affiliate, reported a few days after the shooting that LPD said the officers were responding to a call about a possibly armed man threatening to kill himself.
The Cuellars claim in the filing that LPD had not trained Hernandez or Gonzalez in suicide prevention and crisis intervention and the officers waltzed into their son’s apartment like it was theirs.
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