Dad says son was killed needlessly

Posted Friday, Feb. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- Jose Quezada says he doesn't believe that Fort Worth police had to shoot his 22-year-old son dead.

Quezada is convinced that his son, convicted felon Sixto Quezada, wasn't trying to run over the officers the night of Feb. 9 but that he was scared of them and trying to get away.

"He called me that night to say the police were following him," Jose Quezada said in a recent interview from his north side home. "He sounded upset. The next thing we know a detective came to our house and said there had been an accident. As the detective was leaving, he finally said that [Sixto] had been shot."

The Quezada family filed a notice of claim Feb. 13 against the city, notifying officials that a lawsuit will be filed to claim unspecified damages in the shooting.

"It hasn't nothing to do with money," Jose Quezada said. "We want people to know that there are officers on the street that don't need to be on patrol."

Fort Worth police declined to comment on the notice because of the pending litigation.

Sixto Quedaza, who had a long criminal history in Tarrant County, was shot multiple times by Fort Worth police Feb. 9 as he tried to run them down with an SUV, police said.

Police found him on Pecan Street, believing that his white SUV matched one involved in a shooting in the Diamond Hill area of north Fort Worth. Police later said he was no longer a suspect in the shooting.

He was standing next to the SUV, and officers yelled at him to get on the ground, but he got into it, shifted to reverse and tried to drive away, police Cpl. Tracey Knight said in an email a few days after the shooting.

An officer, fearing that he was going to be run over, opened fire, Knight said. Two other officers also fired.

"The white SUV traveled from the dead end of the street until the vehicle slammed into a mailbox," Knight wrote.

Rosie Mosquada heard the shots that night on Pecan Street and opened her front door to see a man yelling for someone to call 911. Mosquada and other family members said they heard at least 12 shots.

"I yelled: 'It's OK. The ambulance is on its way,'" Mosquada said. "We didn't go out to him because I didn't know if the shooting was over. I then heard someone order us back inside of our home."

The Tarrant County medical examiner reported that Sixto Quezeda died of "multiple gunshot wounds to the chest."

Officers did not find a gun in the SUV, Knight said.

"They shot him like was a rabid dog," Jose Quezada said.

The Quezadas' attorney, Eduardo Canas of Fort Worth, said he doesn't believe that the officers needed to shoot Quezada.

"Sixto was not an angel. He had been to prison, but he was trying to change his life," Canas said. "On several occasions when he was arrested, he was mistreated."

According to Tarrant County criminal court records, from December 2008 to July 2010, Quezada was arrested nine times, all by Fort Worth police. The charges included burglary of a vehicle, evading arrest, drug possession and assault/bodily injury. In each of those cases, Quezada was sentenced to 40 to 60 days in jail, according to records.

But his last arrest, in July 2010, landed him in a Texas prison. Fort Worth officers responded to an aggravated assault call after shots were fired at Northside Drive and Homan Avenue in a possible gang-related incident, according to a Fort Worth police report. No injuries were reported.

Initially, Quezada was charged with engaging in organized crime, but that was reduced to deadly conduct -- discharging a firearm from a vehicle -- according to court records.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in July 2011, according to Tarrant County records. He arrived in prison in August 2011 and was released on supervision in February 2012, according to state records.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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