VIDEO: Mom says her son had BB gun, not firearm, when police shot him

9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, August 13 2020 Aug 13, 2020 August 13, 2020 6:22 AM August 13, 2020 in News - Local
By: Yuri Gonzalez and Dave Hendricks

Officers shot a man early Thursday morning after a disturbance in Pharr, according to police Chief Andrew “Andy” Harvey Jr.

At about 3 a.m. Thursday, the Pharr Police Department received a 911 call about a disturbance at an apartment complex on North Fir Street near Thomas Jefferson Early College High School.

Flor Candanosa said her son suffers from mental illness. He is sometimes aggressive and violent.

Candanosa said she called 911 because she wanted police officers to transport her son to Tropical Texas Behavioral Health for treatment.

“I gave them a warning of all the issues that my son had,” Candanosa said. “And all we were seeking for was help, to help my son go to Tropical and get help instead of them shooting him.”

When police officers arrived, Candanosa said her son had a BB gun.

“He was actually pulling out his phone. He had a BB gun on him, but the BB gun was not even with BBs or anything. He had it on the side,” Candanosa said. “When they seen him pulling out something out his pocket, they thought that he was pulling out a gun, when it was a phone. And they started shooting him.”

Candanosa said police officers shot her son three times.

“My son was never attempting to shoot them or anything like that. My son’s not all there,” Candanosa said. “My son has mental issues and everything, and for them to just come and shoot him like that — my thing is: Where is their professionalism?”

In a summary of the incident released Thursday morning, the Pharr Police Department identified the man who was shot as a 17-year-old male. Candanosa said her son is actually 18 years old.

Harvey, the police chief, said the person that officers shot was holding what appeared to be some kind of rifle.

Officers later determined he was actually holding a BB gun, Harvey said.

The man appeared to be intoxicated when officers arrived, according to the incident summary.

“Officers gave verbal commands and then fired, striking the subject at least once in the abdomen,” according to the incident summary.

Candanosa said her son is being treated at McAllen Medical Center.

The Texas Rangers will investigate the shooting, Harvey said.

Check back for updates.

Correction: According to a statement released by the Pharr Police Department, the person shot on Thursday morning was a "17 year old male." His mother, Flor Candanosa, said her son had just turned 18 years old.

An initial statement from the Pharr Police Department said the 17-year-old male "exited the apartment with an unknown type rifle." Police Chief Andrew "Andy" Harvey Jr. said officers later determined the rifle was actually a BB gun.

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