AUSTIN, Texas - Family and friends of Alexander Gonzales Jr. held a vigil on Wickersham Lane in Austin Wednesday night. Gonzales was shot and killed in the same spot by an Austin Police officer, early Tuesday morning.
Police Chief Brian Manley told the media Tuesday that an Austin Police officer told the department he was driving in the area off-duty around 12:30 a.m. The officer, in civilian clothing, and his personal vehicle, said Gonzales cut him off and "point[ed] a firearm" at him. The officer then opened fire. Gonzales’ girlfriend was shot.
Manley did not clarify whether Gonzales pulled the gun and stopped alongside the officer, or pulled the gun and kept driving.
Gonzales drove for a few blocks, before pulling over. Gonzales’ wounded girlfriend can be heard yelling for her infant in a cell phone video given to FOX 7 Austin. The officer can also be heard telling someone "The female, she’s lying on the ground saying, ‘my baby, my baby, my baby.’" Manley said the officer called 9-1-1. The officer is presumably on that call. The officer can be heard providing his badge number for the dispatcher. He told them he was unsure if Gonzales’ girlfriend was shot, but said he thought the driver had been -- and noted that Gonzales had blood on his face. He can be heard telling the couple that EMS was on the way and yelling "don’t make me shoot you again man!" He gives Gonzales commands about his gun, but also tells the person on the other end of the phone or radio that he is unsure if Gonzales still has a gun.
Minutes later on-duty Austin Police officers arrived, with their guns also drawn. They can be heard giving Gonzales commands in Spanish and English. Manley said Gonzales then opened the rear passenger door of his car, and one of the on-duty officers fatally shot him. Ten shots can be heard. Gonzales’ family believe the shots were "overkill." His father Alexander Gonzales Sr. told FOX 7 Austin "...my son died on the ground struggling for air, while his baby’s crying and his girls bleeding on the ground…"
Gonzales' parents and sister believe he was reaching for his infant in the back seat. "You know why he reached in the back? He’s reaching for his baby, to check his son. His girl got shot, his baby’s in the back screaming and crying. What would y’all do if you had people unloading rounds on you?" asked Alexander Gonzales Sr.
Gonzales’ mother Elizabeth Gonzales says her son was the family’s "protector." She said "He cared for his family more than himself, they were his everything… his girlfriend and his baby were everything to him, and if he had to risk his life he would have done, he would do -- any man would do it for the family."
The Gonzales family tells FOX 7 Austin they believe the officers are "murderers." Manley says they are on administrative duty pending investigation. Alexander Gonzales Sr. says he wants them fired, and in prison. "All these people are dying senselessly for these laws that don’t know how to do their jobs and they’re gonna try to make it look like my son was a guilty person? Michael Ramos was a guilty person?" he said. Michael Ramos is a deceased Black and hispanic man who was fatally shot by an Austin Police officer earlier this year. Gonzales Sr. says he knew Ramos, calling him a "good mechanic."
Gonzales’ sister, Angel Gonzales said "...people need to come out and get justice because it’s not right, it’s not right what they did to him, and it’s not right what they’re doing to other people that are minorities." She was celebrating her 21st birthday when she learned her brother had been killed.
The family says Gonzales was a proud truck driver and new father. "We’re all just trying to make it, my son, 28-years-old just a baby, just starting his life and they’re gonna cut my son’s life off." said Gonzales Sr.
Manley says a weapon was recovered at the scene. Gonzales’ girlfriend was in stable condition Tuesday, and his infant unharmed. Wednesday night, Gonzales’ family was unsure of where the child was. They only knew he had been taken by CPS.
"We just know he was a good dad and I’m not gonna let the cops ruin that for my son because he was not a bad kid, he was a good kid." said Elizabeth Gonzales.
Austin Police and the Gonzales family ask anyone with information to come forward.