Police: Student killed by officers had pellet gun

Police: Student killed by officers had pellet gun

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - An armed eighth-grader gunned down by police officers in the hallway of his Texas middle school Wednesday was brandishing a pellet gun that looked like a firearm, and he refused repeated orders to lower the weapon before the officers opened fire, police said.

The carbon-dioxide powered pellet gun 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was holding looked like a handgun, and the initial report to police that sent officers rushing to Cummings Middle School Wednesday morning was for a student seen holding a gun, Orlando Rodriguez, Brownsville’s interim police chief, said at a news conference.

Robert Valle, a 13-year-old who was among the school’s 750 students locked down in their classrooms during the confrontation, said he heard police run down the hallway and yell “put the gun down,” before several shots were fired.

“He had plenty of opportunities to lower the weapon … and he didn’t want to,” Rodriguez said. Two officers fired three shots, striking Gonzalez at least twice, he said. The autopsy results are pending.

Full Story Here:
Police: Student killed by officers had pellet gun

OK, use your imagination on this one; YOU are a police officer, the dispatcher put the call out as ‘a person with a gun’, it’s a middle school and there are God only knows how many kids in danger. You see the individual with the gun and he has it pointed, more or less at YOU! You order this individual to drop the gun and put their hands in the air but they ignore you and move the gun to a position that indicates to YOU that they are about to fire that gun at YOU!

Look QUICKLY, I mean look very QUICKLY! Is that a REAL gun? Are you in a deadly situation that dictates immediate deadly force be used? You have less than a second to decide whether YOU go home to your family that night or do you take a shot, or several shots from some dipstick with a gun!

Shots fired, officer involved shooting, we need backup dispatch, NOW!


Well, in this case, it’s a Co2 gun, a replica, a pellet gun that looks so much like the real thing that even highly experienced officers can’t tell the difference, and a kid just died because he was STUPID! And now these cops have to live the rest of their lives knowing that they killed a 13 year old kid.

Some may call this a COLD statement to make, but those people never carried a gun for a living. I feel nothing for this 13 year old kid, he made his decision, he had options, he chose to ignore LAWFUL orders to drop the gun and put his hands up, he threatened the lives of police officers and he paid the price for his actions.

My most sincere sympathies go to the officers that were FORCED to pull the trigger and end that young life. They were placed in a position that left them with no choice but to act in the exact manner in which they were trained.

These officers did their job, and did it correctly, I wish them well and I hope that there are no lingering issues for them, a conscience can be a terrible thing to have.

P.S. That Colt 1911 in the picture is an *air gun*, a pellet gun.

If you didn’t know you’d never spot the difference in a *real life* situation and officers have died because they hesitated to act quickly enough, thankfully, today that didn’t happen and the Thin Blue Line didn’t get any thinner.

In the immortal words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus of Hill Street Blues fame, “Be careful out there!”

Related Story:
Boy Shot 8 Times By Police After Possessing BB Gun

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22 Responses to Police: Student killed by officers had pellet gun

  1. NativeSon says:

    Fred, I agree 100%! I’m still trying to get my head around all the things I’m learning (from your blog) that our officers deal with regularly…
    Y’all stay safe out there!

    • TexasFred says:

      I am a vast wealth of knowledge, and I have some pretty sharp friends, associates and fellow travelers… They give ME a ton of education and useful information as well… 🙂

  2. James Shott says:

    The kid with the gun was 15 and in the 8th grade. He should have been in the 10th or 11th grade.

    The story I read on this said, “The preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect assaulted a student prior to the officers’ arrival and made statements to witnesses that he was going to engage the officers with the weapon.”

    You’re absolutely right, Fred: He was dumb. Now he’s dead.

    No sympathy.

    • TexasFred says:

      Young and dumb … weren’t we all at one time?

      This kid had DUMB down to a science… I certainly don’t fault the officers, as a LEO friend told me tonight, if they gave him a verbal warning while he was pointing a gun in their general direction, that was a verbal warning too many… There’s a time to talk and a time to shoot..

      Like the guy in the boat fishing with with dynamite, the game warden pulled up in his boat and was about to arrest the guy and as he’s telling the guy about ALL the laws he has broken the guy lights another stick of dynamite and drops it into the game wardens boat as he asks, “So, we gonna argue about the law or are we gonna fish?”

      A time and a place… 😛

  3. Shady says:

    I live


    Being a Police officer for 27 years Fred it is one thing you learn. Kids will kill just as dead as an adult, it is most unfortunate that the officers were placed in that situation.

    The young man made a mistake, one that cost him his life; a mistake that will replay in the minds of those Officers for the rest of their lives.

    This incident will be played over and over by Monday morning coaches, by people who will be saying “I would have done this or I would have done that” I say to them, If you want to critize the Officers, go pin on the badge, and walk a mile in their shoes, where any mistake will cost you your life, go try it on for size. Go make a traffic stop in the middle of no where, make a mistake, it will be your last mistake.

    Go do what we have to do, go into that dimly lite alley and wonder if you make it home, make a mistake and you DIE.

    All I can say to my brother officers that had to make that millie-second decision, God Bless, we stand with you.

    Great Post Fred

    • TexasFred says:

      Thank you Brady, and knowing your background, when I make a post like this and get that kind of high praise from you, I am indeed grateful…

      • Shady says:


        I thank you for your compliment; you have earned not only my respect Fred, but the respect of thousands of people who read your post on a daily basis. To add that this you have gained the respect and admiration of hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers as well. Why, because of your relentless quest for the truth, irregardless of who is wrong. I have read your post and have seen you be tough on Law Enforcement when they are wrong, as well I have read your high praise when Law Enforcement is right.

        You have been the mouth piece of many who do not have a source to get the truth out. That is tribute to your integrity as a free lance journalist. It is a job that Must maintain the highest degree of integrity, if you lose your integrity you have lost your way. Why? Because people judge by perception, their perception is also their reality. So if you mislead them just once, they perceive you as being dishonest in all that you do.

        So again, I appreciate all that you do, not only for me but for Law Engircement.

        Keep up the great work AMIGO.

  4. Cary says:

    If the officers gave him more than one chance to drop his weapon, they were being as gracious as they could in the circumstances.

    The kid (doesn’t matter how old he was, he ain’t gittin’ any older now) knew what he was doing - from bringing a weapon-looking item to an area where there is no sense of humor about weapons, to bragging about confronting an officer, to refusing to drop his weapon when ordered - every decision was one step closer to suicide by cop, and that’s all this boils down to.

    My sympathy to the kid’s family - they have to live with his decision.

    My prayers to the officers and their families - they have to live with the kid’s decisions, and their own. And that’s the key - the officers are alive.

    • TexasFred says:

      Well, if there is ANY lesson to be learned in this, I hope it’s a lesson learned by the students in that school, don’t bring a gun, of ANY kind, to school… It will not turn out well…

  5. Katie says:

    An idiot 15 year-old acts as if he was the top dog of the world. Assaulting fellow students, carrying a gun (CO or otherwise it is a gun.) to frighten his fellow students, then not only brandishing the gun but threatening an officer of the law with the gun. He refuses to follow the orders of the police and they shoot him.

    So what did the cop do wrong? Nothing. But expect the worthless scum of his family to sue the city because their precious baby is dead. I think the child who this idiot assaulted should then sue the estate of the idiot. Ain’t the law fun.

    • Shady says:

      As a recently retired Chief of Police, I can attest to the absolute horror of what happened. The HORROR of seeing the weapon was merely a grossly realistic pellet gun. The HORROR of the parents having to know that their son made a tragic mistake, forcing the Police Officers to end the confrontation by the use of deadly force. As a spectator and not knowing the complete facts I am nor should anyone label this boy a scumbag. He certainly had a fatal error in judgement. For all we know the kid could have come from a wonderful background but thought he could show off to the kids. I don’t know.

      And yes, maybe the kid had a tough family life, but he is gone, due to a mistake.

      All in all it is still one tragic day, especially for the OFFICERS who had no choice; but also for the parents, they lost their boy, irregardless of what happened. And also for the other kids who may have witnessed the incident.

      It was just one horrific day in the lives of the Brownsville Police Department and City of Brownsville, Texas.

      God Bless

  6. PatriotUSA says:

    Yep, a sorry loss of life and more tragic one for the officers concerned. My prayers are with them.

    I have a couple of friends who are Sheriff’s and one of them was in a similar situation, not at a school. He made the same choice and was vilified by the gun haters and libtards. He revisits this scenario every day for the past 14 years. He is still on patrol, bless him and his family.

    The poor kid’s family now has this haunting them as well.

    If a kid that age did that inside my home, he would be dead or taken down by gunfire. I have no illusions of grandeur or power. It comes down to that millisecond to decide and my family comes first or my very good friends.

    Re-posting over to PC, and thanks Fred.

  7. Always On Watch says:

    The police officer did what he had to do.

    So sad that kids make stupid mistakes like this. They wouldn’t make these mistakes if children were properly education in handling a firearm.

    • TexasFred says:

      Actually, I think they WOULD make the same mistakes, at least some of them would.

      It’s not about gun education in many cases, it’s about TV and video games, and being the WINNER if you kill more than anyone else, and how if YOU get killed, well, just hit the reset button and try again.

      Jaime Gonzalez found out, sometimes, you just can’t hit the button.

      And I know this is going to sound *tacky*, but Jaime Gonzalez, in Brownsville, you can bet he knew how to use a gun, I am just thankful all he had a pellet gun..

  8. extex_cop says:

    I too feel sorry for the police officers that now have to deal with this tragedy…but I also know first hand you can’t tell the difference in a toy/replica or real gun when you have less than a second to respond. Lucky for me I didn’t shoot and the gun was a fake. There was a college kid that was waving and pointing the gun at other cars as he drove down the highway. Once we stopped him he got out of the car with it in his hand….he was lucky his girlfriend got out of the car and yelled the gun was a fake…he dropped it and no shots were fired. I’ve got to tell you…the fake gun scared the crap out of me and I was about to fire. He did spend some time in jail for disorderly conduct…plus the judge fined him to the max after telling him he was lucky to still be alive.

    Thanks to all the LEO’s that put their lives on the line daily, so the rest of us do not have to.

  9. Patrick Sperry says:

    As I was driving late last evening the radio was full of crap about how the kid was a juvenile etc. Well? As noted above, a kid can, and will kill, and do it just as effectively as any adult in the right circumstances. I can remember back in the day when the anti war crowd was calling troops “baby killers.” That was particularly after a well publicized operation involving Army Rangers, and about a week later some Marines that were returning to their fire base after an S & R op. Well guess what? Those “kids” had grenades and were actually acting as suicide bombers… An American kid going after police or civilians with a gun is no less deadly than a foreign kid with an explosive. A fellow Paramedic that I had worked with was killed by a “kid” while on a call as part of a gang initiation. One of our deputies was stabbed by a “kid” and damned near died…

    Call me cold, but oh frikn’ well!

  10. Malinda777 says:

    I’ve been around guns all my life. A pellet gun CAN kill. Point a gun at a police official - they give you the benefit of being young and tell you three times to drop the weapon???

    Boom Boom - out go the lights. I’d have shot him too… To bad so sad to be an idiot…

    Sorry he was 15…and by the way…isn’t 15 a little old to be in only 8th grade??? I was a sophomore at 16…and driving…???

  11. OrergonBuzz says:

    15 years old. In the 8th grade. Brings Glock copy pellet gun to school. As Bill Ingvall would say, “there’s your sign.”

  12. Hoosier Army Mom says:

    My condolences to the officers forced to make such a decision. I strongly suspect that the young boy was “mentally challenged” not only be he was 15 and in the 8th grade, but because he told others he was going to engage police in a firefight with a pellet gun. The screams retarded reasoning in my book… maybe the thinking of a 5-7 year old. Can’t remember how old I was when I realized the difference between the damage done by a .45 and a bb, but I’m sure I was still in grade school. What breaks my heart is the fact that because of poor parenting (children should not have any weapon that is not strictly controlled by the parents) and the refusal of many to teach children to be accountable and responsible, our police don’t seem to get a break from dealing with just such heartbreaking situations. I wonder how many good LEOs we lose every year because of these issues and resulting incidences. I for one stand behind these officers and my prayers go out for them.

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