Warning: The above video includes graphic language.
A Florida sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man who grabbed his Taser and refused to surrender during a domestic violence call last Friday.
Domestic Violence Suspect Grabs Taser
The Orlando Sentinel says an employee at a domestic abuse center called the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office to report that a man later identified as 29-year-old Emmanuel Alquisiras was beating the mother of his children at a home in Seville. Deputy Brandon Watson arrived on the scene at around 7:30 p.m. to find Alquisiras and a friend sitting on the outdoor stairway leading to the front door.
While Watson spoke with Alquisiras and his friend—both of whom were uncooperative—Alquisiras’s girlfriend appeared at the front door. Alquisiras grabbed her and a physical struggle ensued. During that struggle, Watson deployed his Taser on Alquisiras, dropping him to the ground.
Watson instructed Alquisiras to put his hands behind his back. Alquisiras refused. Instead, he told Watson to “shoot me!” He then grabbed Watson’s Taser. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says the Taser was discharged.
That’s when Watson fired his duty gun five times, striking Alquisiras four times, killing him.
The Tough Side of Law Enforcement
Unlike most body cam videos, this one shows the effects shooting a suspect can have on officers in the field.
After trying to reason with Alquisiras and firing the fatal shots, Watson is visibly shaken. Seconds after the shooting, he is approached by a relative of Alquisiras who was present during the shooting. Watson consoles the family member and apologizes multiple times, stating he didn’t want to shoot Alquisiras.
A second family member arrives shortly after and begins yelling at Watson.
“I didn’t want to,” Watson says. “… I’m freaking out right now too.”
Watson steps away for a moment, waiting for backup to arrive. As he waits, Alquisiras’ family can be heard yelling and crying in the background. Watson himself yells in anger as well, clearly distraught by having to pull the trigger.
Speaking to reporters, Sheriff Mike Chitwood defended Watson’s actions that day, stating, “If [Watson] loses his firearm, he’s dead.” Chitwood added that the nearest backup was 20 minutes away in downtown DeLand—which explains why no backup arrives during the 12 minutes of body camera footage seen above—and if Watson had left the 24-year-old woman at the house, she would have been “a homicide victim.”
“In my heart of hearts, I think as this thing unfolds, you’re going to see a woman who was basically held captive by this guy,” Chitwood said.
Alquisiras has a rap sheet that includes a domestic battery arrest in 2008. Earlier this year, he trespassed at his children’s day care, the Sentinel reported.
The person who called the domestic abuse hotline alleged that Alquisiras uses cocaine and “tends to beat [his girlfriend] and be extremely violent,” Chitwood said.
Watson, who was uninjured, has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.