Lubbock police now say officer Kyle King was carrying a taser when he fatally shot Pablo Ponciano Monday night. Officer King shot at Ponciano three times, hitting him twice in the torso at Acacia Mobile Home Park in the 2300 block of Auburn. Police say Ponciano threatened the officer while holding three knives inside his trailer. Officer King said he repeatedly demanded Ponciano drop his weapons, but Ponciano refused and advanced toward him. That's when King fired.
The police department is conducting an investigation into Monday night's shooting, but two Lubbock city councilmen, who are also ex-officers, say officer King followed proper procedure. They told NewsChannel 11 they believe the investigation will exonerate officer King. Councilman Floyd Price spent 33 years on the Lubbock police force and is still active in law enforcement. Councilman Tom Martin spent 16 years with LPD plus more years as police chief in San Marcos and Grapevine, Texas. For them, this case hits close to home.
Price says, "I've been in lots of dangerous situations, but I just got lucky and thanks to the Master above, I got through those. I've been shot at, sure."
Martin says, "There were many, many times when I would have been legally and morally justified in pulling the trigger in defense of myself or another or a third person. Fortunately, thanks to God, I didn't have to do it."
Between them, Councilmen Price and Martin have almost 50 years of experience as Lubbock Police Officers. They say in dangerous situations, officer training automatically kicks in. In their opinion that's exactly what happened when officer Kyle King shot Pablo Ponciano. Price says, "A man is less than eight feet away charging at him. Do you put your weapon back into the holster and use your taser or do you go ahead and do what you're trained to do and protect yourself from the individual? You protect yourself from the individual."
Martin says, "This is serious business. When you come at a police officer to attack him, you better be ready for the consequences. We do not pay these young men and women in society to give the suspect the first cut or first shot."
Price notes, in the end, the officer's job is to protect his own life and the lives of others. He says, "Don't scrutinize an officer for a job we as the public demand they do and pay them to do."
After an internal investigation of the shooting is finished the case will be reviewed by a grand jury comprised of Lubbock citizens.