Family speaks out following fatal officer-involved shooting

- The family of a man who was shot and killed by a Phoenix Police officer spoke out today, one day after the incident.

The officer who opened fire said he had no choice, but the family of the man who was shot and killed, identified as 24-year-old Francisco Valdez, is telling a different story. While they don't deny that Valdez had a warrant out for his arrest and didn't go back to jail, they do not agree with what police said happened.

Now, Valdez's mother, Lorenza Valdez, said she regrets calling 911 for help, claiming an officer has shot her son four times in the back.

"She does regret calling the cops," said Valdez's brother, Jorge. He was translating for Lorenza, who spoke in Spanish. "She called them to come help her out with him and not to murder him."

The shooting happened, inside a trailer. Jorge said he saw his older brother, Francisco, lying face down after the shooting.

According to police, Francisco ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife, and during that time, a rookie officer fell backwards, over a couch. Francisco reportedly approached the officer that was on the ground, and that's when a second officer opened fire, killing Francisco.

"I got here once I heard gunshots," said Jorge. "That's when I ran inside and see my brother face down, and they're telling me he aggravated them with a knife, but who could that be when he's facing down? And I didn't see nothing in his hands when I walked in."

Jorge said he believes officers did not have to shoot Francisco.

"He turned around toward the kitchen when they opened fire on him," said Jorge. "Four shots to his back when he really didn't aggravate an officer."

Francisco Valdez has reportedly been convicted of aggravated assault and fleeing from law enforcement. At the time of the shooting, there was reportedly a warrant out for his arrest, for allegedly violating his probation.

Valdez's mother said she hid all the knives in her house the morning of the shooting, because she claims Francisco was mentally ill, and was acting in a "rowdy" manner.

When asked about the family's claims, Phoenix Police merely said that the incident is now an ongoing investigation.

None of the three officers involved were wearing body cameras.


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