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San Benito Police Department releases new details about Aug. 19 shooting

4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago Saturday, August 29 2020 Aug 29, 2020 August 29, 2020 12:21 PM August 29, 2020 in News - Local

The San Benito Police Department reiterated Friday that a man shot and killed on Aug. 19 had a pistol, despite his mother's insistence that her son didn't have a weapon.

At 11:04 p.m. on Aug. 19, police officers responded to a disturbance near the intersection of South Bonham Street and East Powers Street in San Benito.

According to the police department, an officer who arrived at the scene witnessed 21-year-old Samuel Mata arguing with his mother, Nora Villarreal.

"The officer attempted to separate the two from each other and while doing so, he observed Mata pull out a pistol," according to a police department news release issued on Friday.

According to the news release, the officer backed away and unholstered his weapon.

"As Mata was exiting the vehicle, he pointed the pistol" at his mother and the officer, according to the news release.

The officer fired four shots, according to the news release. Two bullets struck Mata, who died of his injuries.

Mata's mother, however, told a different story during an interview with Channel 5 News. Her story had two key differences.

Villarreal said the officer was already on scene when she arrived.

Throughout the incident, Villarreal said she never witnessed her son holding a pistol.

In the news release, the police department reiterated that Mata had a pistol.

Both dashboard camera video and body camera video show Mata had a pistol, according to the police department. Officers recovered the pistol and turned the weapon over to the Texas Rangers, which will investigate the incident.

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