Police: Lubbock man tased numerous times, died in police custody

Police: Lubbock man tased numerous times, died in police custody
Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video
(Source: KCBD)
(Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Albert Guerra Jr., a 35-year-old Lubbock man, died while in police custody after an early morning encounter Friday morning at a home in the 2300 block of 31st Street.

As of now, the Lubbock Police Department has launched two different investigations into the case, an administrative investigation and death investigation. Officials will also consider a report that will be written up by the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office to get definitive answers into the death of Guerra.

During a Friday afternoon news conference Greg Stevens, LPD's chief, detailed some of the information he could release regarding the incident.

Police were called to the house on 31st Street after Guerra's family members called at around 7:45 a.m. because of a disturbance at the home. Those who reported Guerra's behavior said he was high on methamphetamine and breaking items in the house, according to an LPD police report.

"I'm not going to make any statements about whether he was intoxicated on any kind of substance or not," Stevens said. "He was acting very erratically. We certainly suspect and have that concern but that'll be something that the medical examiner will have to tell us after his office performs an autopsy."

Two police officers arrived on the scene, and upon their arrival officials with EMS were at the home, he said. Guerra refused treatment with EMS and while still acting erratically police checked to see if he had any warrants.

He did have an outstanding warrant out for his arrest and police attempted to take him into custody. A struggle ensued while officers were trying to make the arrest so they attempted to tase him once but that did not work.

Officers tried a second time closer to the house.

"The scuffled spilled out into the front yard. It continued, the subject continued to be combative, the officers tased him again, at least one more time," Stevens said. "I don't have the exact number of times he was tased. That is something we will be able to determine (after the investigation)."

Guerra then became unresponsive and was taken to University Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. There were both witnesses and family members at the scene when all of this took place, Stevens said.

The two on-scene officers who acted have been put on paid administrative leave, as per LPD protocol. However, after watching body-camera and car footage, Stevens said he does not believe there were any inappropriate actions taken during this interaction.

"So far I've not seen anything that has brought a big concern to me," Stevens said, "but we're just hours into this (investigation)."

It could be months before a toxicology report is released by the Medical Examiner's Office, but investigations made by LPD could be released within the coming weeks, he said. All information that has been released is preliminary and subject to change as the various investigations continue.

"Part of the very reason of coming out here was to acknowledge the fact that here's a family that called for help, called for assistance and now their son is dead," Stevens said. "There's no other way to put that and there's not quick and easy answer for them on the questions of why Mr. Guerra is dead. And I don't have an answer for them right now."

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