A 17-year old is dead after being shot by an off duty Navasota Police officer.
Family members have identified the teen shot by the police officer as Jonathen Anthony Santellana. Officials at the scene have not officially released this.
According to investigators, the off duty Navasota police officer, who lives on property at the Villages of Copperfield Apartment in the 8700 block of Point Park Drive, observed suspicious activity in the parking lot.
Officials at the scene tell us the off duty officer tried to question and detain two people sitting in a car. As the officer attempted to open the suspect’s door, the driver accelerated, pinning the officer between two cars.
Investigators say the officer was able to open fire, killing the driver, believed to be 17-yo Santellana.
The vehicle then continued rolling and crashed into a parked car.
The driver, 17-year-old Jonathen Anthony Santellana, died at the hospital. A female passenger was not injured. Jonathen’s family tells Eyewitness News that doctors say he died from a single gunshot wound to the back that went through his heart and lungs. His loved ones have many unanswered questions, as the investigation continues.
A female passenger who was with Santellana at the time tells ABC13 the officer never identified himself and they thought they were being robbed when man ran up to their car, waving a gun.
“And he was aiming at all the windows and towards both of us. Not the tires. Or anything trying to stop the car. He was aiming at us,” witness Kalee Marsteller said.
“They expect kids not to run away from an officer that has a gun in his hand, but they don’t even know he’s an officer,” neighbor Daniel Brock said.
The Navasota Police Department has placed the officer on administrative leave. According to officials, he has worked with that department for two years.
Yarbrough says the officer walked over to him, demanding he delete video from his cell phone shortly after the shooting and car wreck.
“I was trying to get videos and pictures, and when I started videotaping, he pushed the phone down and told me that if I didn’t delete the video that he was going to confiscate my phone,” Yarbrough said.
It happened shortly after 5 p.m. in the Villages of Copperfield apartments.