Deadly conduct charges filed in downtown shootout
Wed, 02 Feb 2011 23:56:59 GMT —
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 4: Special Crimes Unit investigators have filed charges of deadly conduct relating to the downtown shootout on Polk Street Sunday night.
Michael Aleer Manyuon, 28, has been charged with deadly conduct by discharge of a firearm, which is a third degree felony.
Manyuon was originally arrested for aggravated assault connected to the officer-involved shooting in the 800 block of Polk early Sunday morning during the shooting in that area.
The complaint alleges that Manyuon discharged a firearm at and in the direction of the vehicle occupied by Claudio Trujillo.
Trujillo was the driver of the black SUV that officers attempted to stop, he was shot several times, and died Wednesday. An autopsy has been scheduled.
UPDATE: Amarillo Police have just released that the man involved in the shooting on Polk has died. He has been identified as Claudio Trujillo, 24, police say an autopsy will be done.
Police have released a more detailed account of the shootout in downtown Amarillo.
Just before two Sunday morning, officers were in the 700 block of S. Polk. Police were arresting two people for alcohol violations found while investigating a disturbance, in front of a bar at 705 S. Polk.
Other officers had been sent to assist or were monitoring the area while a large number of people came out of the bars in that area as it was closing time. The crowd was described as enough to crowd the sidewalks. The crowd was also described as disorderly and mentioned two other fights in the area to officers.
One man from the crowd was arrested for disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer. There were about six additional officers in the area. About this time is when officers heard shots coming from south of where they were, those shots were later found to be the coming from the parking lot south of 805 S. Polk, Tatum TMs. Due to buildings surrounding the lot officers could hear the shots but couldn TMt see what was going on in the lot. Officers began to run towards the area they heard the shots coming from as they approached they heard additional shots and could see muzzle flashes reflected from the wall of the building on the south side of the lot.
When officers arrived it was chaotic. A lot of people were running from the lot many running towards the officers, many were screaming for help. Others were seen crawling on their hands and knees or hiding behind cars. More than one person appeared to be frozen with fear, and the officers had to yell repeatedly at them to take cover or leave. Gunshots were still being fired at this time. Due to the combination of the dark area and the large number of people screaming and running towards the officers they found it difficult to quickly identify exactly where the shots were coming from.
One officer said that as he approached, he heard what sounded like two different guns firing. So there was reason to think that more than one person was armed and firing a weapon on the lot.
Another officer said that he saw people in the crowd pointing to a man wearing a red shirt as the person who was shooting. The officer saw the man approach a dark SUV parked on the lot, raising his as though he was holding a gun. The officer couldn TMt see a gun because his view was obstructed by the SUV. The officer went around a car to get a better view of the man, briefly losing sight of the suspect. When the officer could see him again, he ordered him to stop the man didn TMt comply, and ducked behind a car in an attempt to evade the officer. The officer also heard something hit the ground behind the man. The man took off, the officer chased him down and arrested him, deploying a taser to control the suspect. This suspect was identified, as Michael Manyoun, 27.
The officer recovered an empty .380 semi-automatic pistol from the ground where he knew Manyoun dropped it.
At the same time all this was happening, all the officers were at different positions entering or at the edge of the parking lot, attempting to identify the people shooting. An officer seeking cover behind a car was told by two or more witnesses on the ground near him that the Tahoe was the source of the gunfire.
They said, Do something, the black Suburban is shooting! Referring to the black Tahoe that backed off the lot a few moments later.
The officer that was told that, yelled out to the other officers that the suspects were in the Tahoe. At least two other officers heard the warning about the Tahoe.
Another officer heard a woman yell out The black Tahoe! They are shooting. There they are! In addition to that claim yet another officer heard someone yell not to let the black Tahoe leave.
One officers was approaching the back of the vehicle and saw a flash of gunfire either coming from inside the Tahoe or from in front of it, he couldn TMt be certain which one. Additional officers were also coming up from behind the SUV. Before they could reach it, the vehicle accelerated quickly in reverse.
One witness reported hearing the tires making a noise as it started to accelerate. The Tahoe accelerated so suddenly that two of the officers approaching from the back had to move quickly to avoid being run over. One officer was brushed against as it went by.
As the Tahoe started backward, bullets hit the glass. Officers weren TMt firing at the Tahoe at this point. Witnesses descriptions of who was shooting match the description of Manyoun.
One witness described the glass as exploding as the SUV backed up to get out of the lot. The Tahoe backed out to Polk southbound a short distance and then stopped briefly. Officers ran toward the Tahoe, and at first thought that the driver would stop because the Tahoe came to a halt briefly. About seven officers intent on arresting the occupants identified as involved in the shooting, approached the Tahoe from the front and side.
They had been approaching from the rear of the Tahoe while it was in the lot, but the Tahoe stopped south of the entrance to the parking lot, so they now had to approach from the front or an angle toward the front of the Tahoe. Witnesses reported that after the Tahoe came to a halt; the back-up lights went off, the engine revved to a high, loud RPM.
The officers had been issuing multiple loud verbal commands for the driver to stop. The Tahoe is variously described as then lunging, lurching, or accelerating forward. At that moment before the Tahoe went forward, an officer was directly in front of the driver TMs view through the windshield. The officer in front of the Tahoe described being in direct eye contact with the driver.
Another officer said that the first officer was so close that his hand was on the hood of the SUV at that moment. When the engine revved, the officer in front of the car believed that the driver was about to intentionally run over and kill him. The officer TMs duty gun was in his hand, as were the firearms of every officer approaching the shooting suspect. The officer fired multiple shots at the driver and tried to move out of the way in an effort to end the threat of the vehicle running over him.
At the same time, three other officers approaching or at the side and front of the Tahoe also saw the same threat, heard the engine rev up, and feared the same thing was imminent. They believed, based on the entire string of events and the behavior of the driver, that the driver was about to run over officers in front of the Tahoe. These three officers that were running toward or close to the vehicle tried to stop the vehicle with threat by shooting the driver.
Two other officers that were present feared that officers were going to be hit by the car, but could not shoot because their direction of shooting would have endangered the officers near the Tahoe. The officers stopped firing when they realized the threat ended.
A total of 40 rounds were fired by officers. The Tahoe continued, slowly, to the area of 800 S. Polk and struck a barrier in front of a building. Officers then started treating the occupants of the Tahoe and securing the scene.
The four officers that fired their firearms in this incident are: Kevin Korinek (hired in 2009), Dewayne Griffin (an officer since 2006), Gordon Eatley (a January 2011 APD Academy graduate) and Cole Thurman (an officer since 2008).
The four officers involved in this incident will remain on administrative duty until the investigation of this case is complete. The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the 47th District Attorney TMs office for review by the grand jury, which is standard procedure.
The suspect, a Hispanic man, 24, remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds. He has not been charged or arrested so his name is not being released at this point in the investigation. Investigators will attempt to determine if he was struck by gunfire from officers, from others firing shots, or both.
Investigators have recovered a total of ten shell casings from two different guns in the parking lot in the area where the initial shooting happened. This area is not near where the officers were shooting.
Investigators know that prior to the officer-involved shooting, the men in the Tahoe were involved in some type of fight with several other people on the back part of the parking lot.
The Special Crimes Unit is attempting to find out more about the fight and to determine who else was firing shots during that altercation.
Investigators do have witness accounts that some black males were assaulting the men in the SUV, possibly even reaching in through a window to punch them, prior to the Tahoe backing out of the lot.
One witness has reported that during the fight, someone took a weapon out of the Tahoe and fired shots. Officers did not find a gun in the Tahoe. Investigators believe that there are witnesses that were present that have not come forward.
The Chief of Police has said as in all police shootings the number of rounds fired by officers will be reviewed and as always we will continue review our policies and training. APD will reserve any further comment until after the Grand Jury reviews this incident.
If you have any information on this incident, please call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or Special Crimes at 378-4258.