In Lubbock, Texas, a Walmart shooting video has begun to go viral. It shows a man named Martin Salazar Hernandez wielding a knife and a baseball bat after already injuring a Walmart employee. When Hernandez refuses to drop his weapons, he is shot using less-than-lethal weapons, but he still suffers an eye injury. But is it possible the injured man could sue based upon the Lubbock Police shooting?
On their Facebook page, the Lubbock Police Department has described the Walmart shooting video.
“At about 7:30 this morning, officers responded to the Walmart at 1911 Marsha Sharp Freeway where a man armed with a baseball bat and a large knife attacked an employee. The officers found the suspect outside the store and confronted him. They ordered him to drop the weapons, but he refused. An officer fired ‘less-lethal’ munitions at the suspect from an LPD issued 12-gauge shotgun attempting to incapacitate the suspect. Another officer also attempted to deploy a Taser against the suspect. Finally, the suspect fell to the ground and dropped the weapons before deadly force had to be used, and he was taken into custody. One of the ‘less-lethal’ munitions inadvertently struck the suspect in the head causing an apparent serious injury to one of the suspect’s eyes. He was transported to UMC where he is currently being treated.”
In this case, the “less-lethal munitions” used during the Walmart shooting meant four beanbags fired via a shotgun. Many people on Facebook commented on the Walmart shooting video, with many congratulating the Labbock cops on a job well done.
But some wondered if the Walmart shooting gave Hernandez grounds to sue based upon his injury. Lubbock Police Lieutenant Ray Mendoza believes the officers involved in the Walmart shooting incident handled the situation correctly.
“This day and age, anyone can file a lawsuit for just about anything,” he said. “Our officers followed protocols regarding less-than-lethal weapons.”
Lawyer Kevin Glasheen agrees with this assessment, noting that the Lubbock police officers could have justifiably used lethal force since Hernandez was threatening deadly force with the knife. But if the injured man were to bring a lawsuit, the lawyer says “there is no reasonable basis for a jury to even consider this case and the court would very likely dismiss the case.”
In this case, the Walmart shooting video would also determine the outcome of any potential lawsuit.
“Very often, we have to second guess or judge the officer’s conduct without the benefit of the video and it’s tough to say who did what and when, and how these things unfold in a matter of seconds,” he said, according to KCBD. “It’s nice to be able to have the video, look at it carefully and see whether the police action was justified.”
What do you think about the Walmart shooting video?
[Image via YouTube]