Family, Midland Police Speak Out After Deadly Standoff

Family, Midland Police Speak Out After Deadly Standoff
standoff 2.jpg
standoff 2.jpg

By Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Police and family of 49-year-old Gino Rodriguez are speaking out. Rodriguez was shot and killed by police Monday after a standoff situation.

"It's very heartbreaking because it didn't have to come to this. They should have just left him alone. They should have just said okay we can't do anything about it, we can't make him get out of his house and they should have just left him alone, but that didn't happen," Malisa Berry, Rodriguez's sister, said.

Berry said the whole situation on Monday morning started when her family were trying to get Gino, who is schizophrenic, to a mental hospital.

"My sisters and I had called one of the MHMR sheriff's, We wanted them to help us get my brother to the hospital. The deputy ended up going and he said that my brother shot at him. My brother was at his house, he was inside his house and he said that my brother shot a gun. My brother doesn't own a gun, he's never had a gun," Berry said.

Berry said Gino locked himself inside a bathroom in his home because he was paranoid and not taking his medicine.

"Before you know it, a hundred cops were there and the SWAT team. They put all of the family in a garage and they didn't give us a chance to talk to my brother," Berry said. 

Berry claimed all they could do was wait. 

"We keep hearing shots and they told us that it was gas bombs, and at the end, some lady came and told us that they had shot my brother," Berry said.

"I support those officers 100%. They are well trained. They were put in a situation where they had no other option," Price Robinson, Chief of the Midland Police Department, said.

Officials said Rodriguez was in a small confined space and close to officers when swung his machete at them and that's why police said he was shot.

"They tried to negotiate first and then use extended range impact weapons and then, unfortunately for the victim and the officer, they were put in a situation where deadly force had to be used," Robinson said. 

But Berry said she doesn't understand why he had to be killed. 

"He didn't hurt anyone, he didn't shoot anyone. He was just trying to protect himself and if he really did have a machete, they could have shot his arm or his leg. They could have done something else. They did not have to kill him," Berry said.

"That incident yesterday (Monday), those officers were put in a situation where they had to use deadly force and those incidents like that happen in a second. When your life is on the line, you're just going to react as you've been trained to neutralize a threat and that's exactly what they did," Robinson said.

An investigation is still ongoing. The Midland Police Department said the two officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave which is protocol.