DALLAS –– Twice last year, the 20-year-old man who police say accidentally shot a 9-year-old girl in the head on Saturday was caught unlawfully carrying a handgun, according to police records.
Cristian Manzano had been on probation for less than a month when authorities say he fired a 9mm handgun at a fence while doing target practice. A bullet fired from Manzano’s gun hit a glass window and struck Jasmine Contreras in the forehead, police records state.
He is being held in the Dallas County Jail on a charge of injury to a child and discharging a weapon. His bond totals $31,500.
Family members say Jasmine continues to improve in a Dallas hospital and should be sent home in a few days. They say it’s not the first time that Manzano and the others had fired at that fence, but it’s the first time someone has been injured.
It was about 11:40 a.m. Saturday when the bullet slammed through a kitchen window at the home of Jasmine’s grandparents in the 400 block of West Yarmouth Street. Flying glass sprayed a family member, according to police records.
Jasmine told her family that her “head was hurting” and a family member saw blood coming from her forehead, according to police documents. Her family initially thought she had been hit by glass, not by a bullet. They called 911.
Paramedics were treating Jasmine. Senior Cpl. Michael Enriquez had arrived on scene and was inspecting the damage when he and one of Jasmine’s family members heard “what sounded like pellet shots hitting the fence,” according to police records. The officer “could see little pieces of wood from the fence flying in front of him.”
Enriquez yelled at Jasmine’s family members to flee the home and take cover. Enriquez ran behind the house to keep from being hit, grabbed patrol rifle from his squad car and ran back to the back of the house, according to police records. He used an external staircase to get to the second floor of Jasmine’s grandparents’ home and look down into backyard where the shots were coming from. The home is directly behind the home of Jasmine’s grandparents.
He saw four men in the backyard. One of them, later identified as Manzano, walked back inside the house. The officer then ordered the other three to put their heads in the air, according to police records.
“The suspects at first just looked” at the officer, police records state. The officer “used stronger language and again ordered the suspects to put their hands in the air.”
The men complied. Officers took Manzano into custody and recovered a 9mm handgun at the scene. Manzano told officers that he was the only one that fired the gun. Authorities say the men had been firing pellet guns.
After Jasmine was taken to the hospital, doctors discovered that she was hit by a bullet. It lodged in her brain “near the rear of her skull,” according to police records.
On Feb. 11, Manzano was placed on 18 months of deferred adjudication probation for two counts of unlawfully carrying a weapon, two counts of possession of marijuana and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Had he successfully completed the probation, he would not have had convictions in the cases.
The cases were related to three traffic stops in 2013, according to police records.
In March 2013, officers pulled Manzano over in a 1996 Lincoln Continental. Police smelled marijuana coming from the car. Officers found marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in the car and a .357 handgun in his front waistband. About two months later, officers pulled Manzano over in the same car and again found marijuana and Xanax.
In November, officers stopped him again. This time, they confiscated a black 9mm handgun sitting on the floorboard beneath his feet, according to police records.