Friend remembers man shot, killed by police as "great person"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 12:59pm

We now know the name of a man shot and killed while in the custody of El Paso police. Daniel Saenz, 37, died Friday night after being shot outside the El Paso county detention facility.

Police said Saenz was handcuffed while he violently fought with the officer before the officer shot him.

Wendy Velazquez knew him for five years. She said Saenz was a body builder and may have looked intimidating to officers, but she only knew him as a "sweet guy."

"I just really think that his name shouldn't be dragged through the dirt above all cause he was a great person,” said friend Wendy Velazquez. “He focused a lot of religion, his family, himself and I just think there was a huge injustice and I think people really need to look into that. I don't know the whole story but according to what I've heard, I don't believe it’s right."

But police said there was a different side to him. They said Saenz was being booked that day for multiple violent charges, including assault on a public servant, assault bodily injury, assault and injury to an elderly. He also had been found guilty on theft, assault and violating protective order charges.

The El Paso Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Unit, Shooting Review Team and The Texas Rangers continue their investigation into Friday's shooting.

Once that investigation is complete, District Attorney Jaime Esparza said it's his office's policy to present all shootings that involve officers to a grand jury.

Police have not released the name of the officer that allegedly shot Saenz.

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