HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- Family members are identifying a young man shot and killed by an off-duty Navasota Police officer near Park Point Drive and Highway 6.
It happened shortly after 5 p.m. in the Villages of Copperfield apartments.
Investigators said the off duty officer, who lives and works security at the complex, was just getting home from work. According to deputies, he noticed what he believed to be suspicious drug activity happening inside a car.
The officer reportedly identified himself and tried to talk to a young man and woman inside. That’s when deputies say the car flew into reverse, pinning the officer.
The officer reportedly shot numerous times and wounded the young man behind the wheel.
“I have a 1-year-old son. I stay by myself during the day. This is freaky,” said neighbor Amanda Gonzales.
Neighbors describe up to seven shots being fired.
The young man behind the wheel veered out of control, slamming into another car and a truck. The accident hurt an innocent bystander who was sitting inside the truck.
“He was taken to a local hospital with non life threatening injuries, and he is currently being released,” said Sgt. Greg Pinkins with Harris County Sherriff’s Office.
Family members believe their loved one, 17-year-old Jonathen Santellana, was the one killed by the officer.
His mother rushed to the scene when she got a call from her daughter.
“I figured something like this was going to happen one day, you know, with my son,” said mother Roxana Harrison. “I’m scared. I don’t know if to cry, if that’s him or not.”
Harrison and other family members at the scene never got official confirmation from authorities.
However, they tracked Santellana’s cell phone to Northwest Cypress Medical Center. Relatives also said the car involved the ordeal belongs to Santellana.
Family members and friends said they had no doubt it was him.
“He was a good kid. There is no reason anyone should’ve shot at him. There’s no reason he should’ve been in this situation,” said friend Steve Yarbrough.
Deputies said they were questioning the young woman who was in the passenger seat. She was not hurt.
The officer who pulled the trigger did not suffer serious injuries.