Family of doctor killed by police in 2019 still awaiting justice

It has been two years since Dr. Mauris DeSilva was shot and killed by two Austin police officers while having a mental health crisis. 

The Travis County District Attorney’s office is expected to present this case to a grand jury sometime this year.

"Dr. DeSilva was a PhD in biomedical engineering. He worked with the US navy. He was a wonderful son," said Jarrod Smith with the Smith and Vinson Law Firm representing the DeSilva family.

Dr. Mauris DeSilva was living out his dream until it all came to an end when he was shot and killed on July 31, 2019. "Dr. DeSilva should not have been shot and killed that night. He should be alive today," said Smith.

Two years ago, Austin Police received several 911 calls from the Spring Condominiums in Downtown Austin of a man holding a knife to his throat having a mental health crisis. The man was 46-year-old Dr. DeSilva.

"Instead of sending officers [that day] who had mental health training, there was someone on duty with APD that had mental health training, they sent out Officer Christopher Taylor and other officers," said Smith.

Desilva was shot and killed by both Officer Karl Krycia and Officer Christopher Taylor, who is already awaiting trial for murder for killing Mike Ramos, an officer-involved shooting that happened nine months after he killed DeSilva.

"Officers sometimes go their entire career without even firing their weapons, much less killing two people within a nine-month period. That is shocking," said Smith.

Smith says Officer Taylor's murder charge is a step in the right direction, but not enough. "We want justice for the Ramos family, but there needs to be justice for the DeSilva family," he said.

There is body cam footage of the day DeSilva was killed, but APD has yet to release it to the public. However, Smith has seen it and says it needs to be released. "I think the public would be shocked at what they see."

Smith says the ideal outcome of this case would include a few things: the body cam footage being released, the officers involved being charged, and extreme changes to APD's protocols when it comes to mental health cases.

"Honestly, APD, Travis County, and the City of Austin failed Dr. DeSilva and his family that night. They really did. He should be alive," he said.

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