Prosecutors today released grand jury transcripts in the March 4 police shooting of Santiago Cisneros III—an Iraq war veteran who was being treated, his family says, for post-traumatic stress disorder. And, police, in a press conference, also released new information about the encounter, including dispatch audio as the encounter unfolded and detailed video of the shooting's aftermath.
Police Chief Mike Reese said Cisneros may have followed two officers who'd driven up to the top of a Lloyd District parking garage for a "door to door" chat in a spot often frequented by cops looking for a safe, quite place to write reports and debrief.
He said the two officers, Brad Kula and Michele Boer, immediately split their cars up for a better look at Cisneros' black BMW with Washington plates—with Boer at first noticing Cisneros pull something from his trunk. That something turned out to be a shotgun, and Boer quickly dove from her car and took cover as Cisneros began firing.
Kula got out of his car, too, and both cops hit the ground, firing back and looking for Cisneros' feet through the tiny sliver of air between their cruisers and the pavement. Cisneros seemed to be fixated on Boer, "hunting" for her, Reese said, even as he also took a shot or two at Kula. Cisneros eventually got behind Boer, but he'd run out of ammunition, and after having been shot several times in the legs and lower body, he "deliberately" set down his shotgun and slumped down.
He died maybe an hour or so later, at Legacy Emanuel. It was the coda to a strange encounter, a "firefight, if you will," Reese said, that lasted no more than 45 seconds.
We'll post a more elegant accounting later—including heartbreaking testimony from Cisneros' brother and father about his postwar struggles with mental illness and his family's equal struggle to help him cope and stay well. In the meantime, take a look at the transcripts yourself (here and here).
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