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Only On ABC-7: Family of shooting victim speak out

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Jul 05 2013 01:40:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2014 12:23:58 PM CDT

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

July 9, 2013 update: Joey Estrada Official Family Statement: 
Joey’s family wishes to thank everyone who has offered their condolences, support, and prayers during this very difficult period.  At this time, we would like to encourage you to please think of Joey as a son, father, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, or friend and not as a news story.  This is what he was to us.  There are many misconceptions about Joey’s character out in the media and social media right now that are unproductive and hurtful.  The loss of this vital member of our family is overwhelming, and its impact not yet fully comprehended.  It is compounded by the unkind words about Joey and by the unknown facts of the situation.  We ask you to also remember that the investigation is not complete,
and we still have many questions about the incident as most of us were not there.  Why was medical treatment not given immediately, and he was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car instead?  Did this cost precious time and blood?  We respect our law enforcement officers and the job they must perform every day to keep our community safe.  Just as Joey was not perfect, officers can make mistakes as well. 
We just want to know what happened to our loved one, that every precaution was taken before he was shot, and that he was properly cared for after.

Joey was loved by many, and this loss has left a huge hole in the hearts of the many lives he touched.  It may be easy for those on the outside to judge him, but please remember that he was someone’s family.  Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, it will not bring Joey back, and we have to find a way to cope with that loss.  Please respect our privacy and feelings as we work through the grieving process. 

Thank you and God bless."

July 5, 2013 story: The family of a Las Cruces man shot and killed by police told ABC-7 maybe his life could have been saved.

The family opened up to ABC-7's New Mexico Mobile Newsroom about the shooting that killed 37-year-old Jose "Joey" Estrada.

April Estrada, the victim's sister, told ABC-7 the family is devastated by the loss. She said they're also upset about the way they say police treated him after he was shot.

"They dragged him a hundred feet from where he was shot, handcuffed him after he was obviously incapable of creating any harm to anybody, bleeding out in front of his children, thrown in a cop car after bring dragged like a piece of garbage," April Estrada said.

A spokesman for the Las Cruces Police Department could not say much about the shooting. He did say Estrada was put in a police car and driven to an ambulance a block away.

Estrada's family burst into tears remembering the day he was shot and killed.

The family says Joey Estrada's three teenage daughters saw it all.

"These kids have to live the rest of their life not only without their father but seeing something so horrible, seeing him treated so poorly," April Estrada said.

Las Cruces police told ABC-7 they were called to a home in south Las Cruces on reports of a man threatening people with a gun.

Police said Joey Estrada threatened officers with a pellet gun that looked like an assault rifle.

"When he raised the weapon upon the officers, they responded, due to their training, appropriately and were able to discharge their weapons at Mr. Estrada," said Jaime Montoya, the deputy chief of operations for LCPD.

Estrada died later that night.

"I just wish I could tell him I love him one more time. I miss him and he's not going to be here when I graduate next year," said one of Estrada's teenage daughters.

"His charisma, his character, his sense of humor, his jokes. He was a beautiful person. After everything he's endured he did turn his life around. His life was cut short now," April Estrada said.

Three police officers have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.

Police said based on preliminary reports they believe the officers acted appropriately.

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