Crime

Witness to offer different version of Grapevine police shooting

About a dozen protesters marched up and down Grapevine's Main Street demanding justice for Ruben Garcia Villalpando, who was fatally shot by a Grapevine police officer.
About a dozen protesters marched up and down Grapevine's Main Street demanding justice for Ruben Garcia Villalpando, who was fatally shot by a Grapevine police officer. Star-Telegram

The attorney representing the family of a man shot and killed by a Grapevine police officer said an eyewitness to the shooting offers a “very different” version of what police say happened.

Dallas attorney Domingo Garcia said the eyewitness will talk about the shooting and its aftermath at a Thursday morning news conference in Dallas. Garcia said the woman has talked to detectives, but Euless police could not confirm that.

No other information was available about the woman who will speak.

Mexican national Ruben García Villalpando, 31, was shot twice in the chest by Grapevine police officer Robert Clark on Feb. 20 on a Texas 121 service road in Euless after a brief pursuit.

Family members who were shown video footage of the shooting have said that Clark shouted profanities at García as the unarmed North Richland Hills resident walked toward the officer with his hands up. At one point he asked the officer, “Are you going to kill me?” García’s brother-in-law previously told the Star-Telegram.

The Mexican government has condemned the shooting and protests have been conducted in downtown Grapevine each of the past two Tuesdays.

About a dozen protestors marched on Grapevine’s Main Street Tuesday night to push for release of the video. Grapevine Lt. Barry Bowling said police briefly met with them to ensure their safety.

Protesters told the Star-Telegram they plan to hold signs that include “Hands up don’t shoot!” every Tuesday until the dash-cam footage is released.

Grapevine police said last week that based on a directive from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office they would not release the video.

Euless police, who are investigating the shooting, have said they agree that the video should not be released, saying it could potentially taint a jury pool.

Lt. Eric Starnes said detectives have already talked to 28 witnesses.

“This incident involved a high volume of traffic on a busy highway. Think of the witnesses as tiny reels of film. Each one caught a piece of what happened, but no one saw the entirety of the event,” Starnes said. “It is our job to grab up each frame and try and piece together the event from them as well as from other evidence.”

Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792

Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST

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