The Main Stream

Oct 17, 2012 8:18 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Details revealed in officer-involved shooting

TUCSON - The disabled man shot and killed by a Tucson Police sergeant in September had a loaded .45 caliber weapon at the time of the shooting.

Johnny Romero was killed. He was 23-years-old. His family told News 4 Tucson Romero was in wheelchair, paralyzed after being shot in a drive by shooting in 2008.

The officer involved shooting happened on September 15 at the Valencia Gardens apartment complex on Valencia Road.

A police report obtained by News 4 Tucson gave the following account by Sgt. Ray Mechtel, "I told the subject in the wheelchair who was facing away from me, show me your hands." Sgt. Mechtel motioned someone turning around with their hands on the wheels of a wheelchair and stated, "the male reached down into his pants and I took out a handgun and started to bring it up. I told him, show me your hands, or I'll shoot you in the face." Sgt. Mechtel stated, "I saw the gun coming up and saw that by the size of the hole it was probably a .45 (caliber). Sgt. Mechtel said, "I shot center mass until he dropped the gun."

According to the report Romero was hit six times. In the report another officer describes hearing Sgt. Mechtel tell Romero to "drop it." That same officer also performed CPR on Romero.

Romero's aunt Sonia told News 4 Tucson her family wants answers, "that seems harsh for a man in a wheelchair and I understand people think that he shouldn't have been treated any different but he was different."

Sgt. Mechtel has been with Tucson Police for 17 years. A TPD spokesman said he has returned to regular duty.


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