LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - An officer shot and killed a man early Sunday morning, Lubbock police say. A woman called 9-1-1 about 4:30 AM from an apartment complex in the 5200 block of Kenosha Avenue. Police identify her as Zitra Rivera, 20.
A police spokesman, Captain Greg Stevens, says when officers arrived, they heard a commotion, which was described as a "domestic incident." Stevens says officer Jennifer Breazeale saw Jermar Antwan McKinzie, 25, "holding a knife and standing over Rivera." After ordering McKinzie twice to drop the knife, the officer fired two shots, according to the spokesman.
McKinzie was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jermar Mckinzie's family was in shock as they watched his body being carried down from the apartment. His father Jerry Williams said he was angry, frustrated, and couldn't believe it. Other family members were seen shouting at some of the officers at the scene.
Williams says his son shared the apartment with Zitra Rivera and that the two were dating. Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the two got into a heated argument.
Neighbors say they saw Rivera throwing clothes and other items off the second floor about an hour before she made the 911 call. "I saw the girl tossing all kinds of stuff outside her balcony, just coming in and out and tossing shoes and clothes and everything," said Mauricio Rosendo.
"Apparently the altercation has been going on for some time in the overnight hours," said Captain Greg Stevens with LPD.
Stevens said officer Jennifer Breazeale gave McKinzie a chance to drop the weapon, and when he didn't, she fired. "She ordered him to drop the knife, when he failed; out of fear for the safety of the female she fired two shots center mass into the male subject."
Stevens says officers are trained to shoot at the center area because if they aim anywhere else there's a greater chance they'll miss. "In that scenario there's not a lot of time to react. Split second decisions have to be made, and that's where we sit right now."
Those split second decisions Mckinzie's family is trying to understand. "I just want them to do a thorough investigation and do the right thing," Williams continued. "He was a good kid, he did have his flaws, but he was a good kid."
Breazeale was placed on paid leave, which is standard procedure for officers involved in traumatic events.
A little less than six hours after the 9-1-1 call, police released the first two minutes and 16 seconds of the call. For the first 50 seconds or so, the call is relatively calm with Rivera saying she had been hit. She was in her car and she claimed McKinzie was in her apartment "getting his stuff."
But then a man is heard approaching the caller and the audio depicts a violent episode. The man is heard cursing at the woman, and she is heard screaming. The audio also seems to depict the sounds of hitting and slapping.
(CLICK HERE) to listen to a portion of the call. (KCBD.com is only making the first 1:17 available because of its graphic nature.) It's a 456 kb mp3 audio file.
A KCBD NewsChannel 11 news crew was on scene early Sunday morning. We'll have video and comments from the LPD on the news at 10.
Below is the text of an LPD news release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, February 20, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Greg Stevens, Public Information Officer, 806-548-xxxx
This morning at 4:24 AM, we received a 911 call from Zitra Rivera (x-x-90) reporting that she and her boyfriend, Jermar Antwan McKinzie (x-x-85), were having a domestic dispute at her residence at 5208 Kenosha Avenue, Apt. #31. An obviously violent situation erupted during the 911 call and could be heard by our call taker over the phone as the 911 line was left open throughout the altercation. Officers were dispatched by 4:26 AM and arrived on scene at 4:27 AM.
Officer Jennifer Breazeale and Sergeant Michael Jordan could hear yelling and screaming as they approached the apartment. When Officer Breazeale reached the doorway of the apartment, she observed McKinzie holding a knife and standing over Rivera. Officer Breazeale ordered McKinzie to drop the knife, but he failed to do so. Officer Breazeale fired two shots from her service weapon at McKinzie. Both rounds struck McKinzie center mass killing him. Officer Breazeale reported over the radio that shots had been fired at 4:29 AM.
Rivera was assaulted prior to the officers' arrival, and she is currently being evaluated at UMC. Officer Breazeale, who started with the LPD on 7-24-2006, has been placed on Administrative Leave, as is standard procedure, while this incident is investigated.
The first part of Rivera's 911 call is included with this release. More of it may be released at a later time depending upon its evidentiary status as determined by our detectives.
I will provide more information as it becomes available.
LPD case #11-8665.
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