Juan Nunez III died on the night of April 16th following an encounter with Lubbock police.
Officer Matt Doherty was responding to a 9-1-1 hang-up call and arrived to find a domestic dispute at a northwest Lubbock home. According to a police report, Nunez's actions caused Doherty to use his stun gun. The Medical Examiner has ruled Nunez's death a homicide.
"Homicide", according to police, does not mean anything criminal happened. The M.E. cites three factors in this report as to why Nunez died.
"The medical examiner ruled the cause of death being acute alcohol intoxication and concussive brain injury due to blunt force trauma complicated by post traumatic apnea. The resultant head injury due to blunt force trauma was received secondary to the taser event and collapse, therefore the taser event is contributory towards his death," states the report.
LPD Public Information Officer Roy Bassett wants the public to understand the M.E.'s report. "The taser alone was not responsible for this death," said Bassett.
Bassett says the department will submit their investigation to the Attorney General's office. He says it is required anytime someone dies in police custody.
While we now know the cause of Nunez's death, Bassett declined to comment on the details of that night. We at least know, after reading the M.E.'s report, Nunez "received multiple tases from a single weapon in the region of the left chest."
"I think it's important to note that, at this point in the investigation, there does not appear to be any policy violation on the part of the officer. All of his actions taken that night seemed to be appropriate," said Bassett.
Bassett says the department's investigation will be turned over the Lubbock District Attorney's office. The DA will decide what, if any action, they need to take.
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