Brother Tells NewsChannel 11 About Fatal, Deputy Involved Shooting - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/6/07

Brother Tells NewsChannel 11 About Fatal, Deputy Involved Shooting

A Plainview man is dead, and a Hale County Sheriff's Deputy is on administrative leave, following a fatal shooting early Monday morning in Plainview.

Family members tell us the victim, 35-year-old Jose Vasquez, is a diagnosed schizophrenic.

According to the Hale County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Brett Wright felt he had to shoot Vasquez after family members called law enforcement to the scene of a fight at around 4 a.m. Monday.  

NewsChannel 11 is learning more about that fight, and the events leading up to the deadly shooting. 

We spoke with Vasquez's older brother Juan Monday afternoon.  Vasquez had been living with Juan and his family, but Monday morning he got upset, and started to fight with Juan.

The family called 911 for help, and Juan tells us it's still hard to believe what happened next.

"They didn't listen, that the officer that was on hand did not listen to what he was told," Juan Vasquez said. 

Juan says his brother Jose was a good man, and when he was on his medication, reminded him a lot of himself, but Monday morning things changed.

"He had gotten upset earlier because I took his ladder away from him. He wanted to get on top of the house; he went back into the room, and he started cursing that he was leaving or whatever," Juan said. 

When Jose walked outside, Juan followed, and that's when Juan says Jose hit him.

"So, I did everything I could to restrain him since he's a schizophrenic, and he's on medication," Juan said.

Juan's daughters called 911 when the fight started to get out of control.

"They had told them he was schizophrenic, so by the time the sheriff's deputy got out here, I thought he knew what was going on. He went to go talk to my brother, and he was already upset, and when the sheriff's deputy got there he was even more upset, so he was trying to get into the house," Juan said. 

Juan had told his family to lock the doors, though, to prevent anyone from getting hurt.

"So, he was trying to get in and at that time; I asked the officer if he would restrain my brother, and he motioned that he was going to," Juan said. 

Juan says it appeared the deputy was going to handcuff his brother, but after a brief struggle Juan says the deputy did not put the cuffs on Jose.  That's when Juan says his brother picked up a gardening hoe.

"Before I knew it my brother made an attempt to go towards us, and that's when we heard the shot and that was it.  I think he should have done something else other than what he did.  He let him go, and it escalated into what it came to be, and my brother lost his life," Juan said. 

The deputy involved, Hale County Sheriff's Deputy Brett Wright has been with the sheriff's office for almost seven years.  The Texas Rangers are handling the investigation. 

Stay with NewsChannel 11 for the latest developments.

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