Family defends vet shot, killed by police

GREELEY - The family of Jacinto Zavala says they don't know why he tried to argue with the police, who shot and killed him early Wednesday. The 21-year-old was armed at the time.

Police say it was a relative of Zavala who called police to report that he was an ex-military man, outside with several guns and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

When police arrived, they say they found Zavala outside of his house with a weapon in his hand. Police say Zavala refused to drop the weapon so they opened fire.

His aunt, Ana Granados, tells a different story. She says no one in her home called police and her nephew does not suffer from PTSD. Granados says she and her family were at home sleeping when she says she heard her nephew yelling at police.

"'Jacinto come inside now. What's wrong with you?' I said. He had the BB gun down," Granados said.

Granados says her nephew didn't listen to her commands and the next thing she knew, he was collapsing to the ground.

"Jacinto is dead on the ground. Jacinto is right there dead on the ground. They shot him," she exclaimed. "They shot Jacinto."

Police say they talked to Jacinto on the phone before they shot him. He allegedly told a dispatcher that "they are going to have a shoot-out."

The case has been turned over to the Weld County District Attorney's Office. Greeley Police say they do not comment on active investigations. However, Police Chief Jerry Garner released the following statement:

I am both saddened and angry that this individual put our young officers and their families through this. I am equally sad that he inflicted pain on his own family members.

The family of Jacinto Zavala says they're hoping for a fair investigation of what happened Wednesday morning.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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