Brothers fatally shot by officers a year - and a few blocks - apart

Print
Email
|

by By SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News sgoldstein@dallasnews.com

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 12:17 PM

A 20-year old man killed by an undercover police officer in Dallas this week was shot blocks from the spot where police fatally shot his brother last year.

Derrick Watson was shot at a Texaco gas station in the 11700 block of Ferguson Road, near Interstate 635, about 2:25 p.m. Wednesday. Police said he reached for a handgun during a confrontation with Garland police Detective Marc Mendoza, who told Dallas police investigators he had identified himself as an officer.

Mr. Watson, of Mesquite, was pronounced dead at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas about 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, five days short of the first anniversary of 17-year-old Shawn Watson's death.

A grand jury cleared Dallas police Senior Cpl. Raymond Dominguez, 29, in the fatal shooting of Shawn, who was unarmed, on the night of Sept. 22. Shawn and three other men were robbing Cpl. Dominguez, who was working undercover and said he thought Shawn was reaching for a gun when he shot him in the back.

Dallas police Lt. Craig Miller, commander of the homicide unit, oversaw the investigations into both shootings and was on the scene shortly after they occurred.

"Any time you lose any one of your children it's a horrible thing, but to lose two of your children the same way ... it's just tragic for the family," said Lt. Miller, who said both shootings appeared to be justified.

On Wednesday afternoon, Garland police were conducting surveillance at the Texaco gas station, where they believed suspects in crimes committed in their city were hanging out, police said. The gas station is in Far East Dallas, near the Garland city line. It is unclear whether Dallas police knew before the shooting that they were there.

The Garland officers saw three people in a beige pickup - including Derrick Watson - conducting what they believed to be drug sales, Dallas police said. Detective Mendoza drove to the gas station to try to make an undercover drug purchase but went into the gas station's store after none of the suspects approached him, Dallas police said.

When the detective came back out, three more people had pulled up in a blue Kia - which police said was stolen days earlier - and one of them accused the detective of being a cop, Dallas police said.

"Four suspects were approaching" Detective Mendoza, said Dallas police Sgt. Gary Kirkpatrick. "They were cursing him, threatening him, telling him to do something."

The detective pulled his handgun and identified himself as an officer, police said. Derrick Watson reached for a chrome pistol, and Detective Mendoza shot him in the chest, Dallas police said.

"It certainly got to the point where he was not trying to make a narcotics buy, but he was trying to stay alive," Sgt. Kirkpatrick said.

Police found crack cocaine in both vehicles and arrested 30-year-old Kiilu Qunionis Shabazz II on robbery and drug charges and Derrick Watson's 16-year-old brother for resisting arrest, police said. His name was not released because he is a juvenile.

A grand jury will decide whether to file charges against the officer in Wednesday's shooting.

Attorney Ed Moore represented members of the Watson family after Shawn's death and said he is representing them again. He said Thursday that he had talked to witnesses who contradict the Dallas police account.

"I don't have any information that they were doing anything illegal," Mr. Moore said.

After Shawn's death, Mr. Moore acknowledged that the teenager was involved in an attempt to rob an undercover Dallas vice unit detective, Cpl. Dominguez. The events that led to that shooting began at the same Texaco station, where Cpl. Dominguez was flagged down by several men, according to police documents.

The detective told the men he was looking for a girl to date, and the men eventually led him to a dark, deserted back parking lot of an area apartment complex.

Cpl. Dominguez said Shawn punched him in the face while he sat in his truck. He said he soon found himself surrounded by four men outside his truck and shot Shawn because he thought the teen was reaching for a weapon in his waistband, according to police documents.

Cpl. Dominguez was later temporarily placed on restricted duty while detectives investigated discrepancies in his story. A grand jury declined to indict him in April.

Mr. Moore said both boys and their two surviving brothers were raised by their grandmother, who is devastated.

The grandmother declined an interview request but said through Mr. Moore: "I love him and I miss him."

Print
Email
|