HOUSTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Police bodycam video was released Thursday of a man before he was fatally shot by police officers in Houston.
Nicholas Chavez, 27, was shot and killed by police on April 21 after they say he pointed an object and charged at officers. Chavez’s family said he was going through a mental health crisis and for months have been calling for the release of the bodycam video.
That video was released Thursday while police announced the firing of four officers.
“Following several 911 calls, officers were advised just before 9 p.m. of a man in an apparent mental crisis. He was reported to be jumping in front of cars on I-10 near Lockwood,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Police provided multiple 911 calls in the video that confirmed the reports of a man in distress on I-10. Additional 911 calls from a nearby neighborhood of a man yelling and walking onto people’s lawns were also released.
“Honestly, there is a guy who, I was hearing noises, I was hearing my dogs bark, and I go outside. It’s a guy with a metal, like a metal tube of some sort. He’s bleeding, he was bleeding. He’s masked. He seems a little crazy to be honest with you,” said one caller.
Acevedo said multiple officers responded and found Chavez holding a metal object. After officers unsuccessfully tried talking with him, they shot him with beanbag rounds that were fired from a shotgun. He was also tasered, according to Acevedo.
“I’m a MHMRA [Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD] patient and I feel like dying,”Chavez says in the video.
Officers can be heard repeatedly trying to calm him down while he sits in a ditch.
“Even after giving Mr. Chavez repeated verbal warnings, deploying multiple soft-impact rounds and two tasers, Chavez was still armed with a metal object,” said Acevedo.
He said Chavez then began moving quickly toward HPD officers.
“At one point, Mr. Chavez charged out of the ditch in the direction of officers. A sergeant deployed a soft-impact weapon a fourth time.”
Another officer fired shots from their duty weapon at Chavez, according to Acevedo.
“Officers continued to give verbal commands, but he did not comply,” said Acevedo
He then threw the piece of metal he had been holding in the direction of officers and grabbed the wires of the taser that had been previously used on him. When he started bringing the taser towards him, four officers discharged their duty weapons. Chavez was struck multiple times, according to Acevedo.
Chavez was treated at the scene, but died at a local hospital.
Acevedo fired officers Benjamin LeBlanc, Luis Alvarado, Omar Tapia and Patrick Rubio. They have all filed appeals.
The bodycam footage below contains graphic content.