Man confronted teen over fireworks, then killed him, police say

In the earliest hours of the Fourth of July, Austin police received a 911 call about an escalating argument on the southeast side of the Texas city. A man was pointing a gun at the head of another man in the parking lot of an apartment complex, the caller said.

Jason Roche, 41, was apparently upset that 19-year-old Devonte Ortiz was setting off fireworks with his friends at their apartment complex, according to a copy of an arrest affidavit provided to The Washington Post.

By the time police arrived around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, it was too late: Ortiz had been shot, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Roche told police he had asked Ortiz and his friends to stop shooting off fireworks earlier that night, the affidavit stated. When they didn’t, Roche said he confronted the group a second time — then shot Ortiz after he said the teenager also reached for a gun, police said. It was a matter of self-defense.

However, police would later review cellphone videos taken at the scene and discovered they told a different story.

In the videos, Roche “is observed displaying a firearm at Ortiz, reholstering the firearm then displaying the firearm multiple times,” the affidavit stated. “The video depicts Roche following Ortiz around the car and they argue with each other.”

Roche’s father was also outside, police said, and attempted to intervene. Video footage showed Roche’s father and Ortiz “engage in a verbal altercation and mutual shoving of each other,” resulting in the elder Roche falling to the ground, the affidavit stated.

It was then that Roche shot Ortiz, police said.

Ortiz, it turns out, was not armed when he was shot and was “moving away from the firearm and not lunging toward it as stated by Roche,” the affidavit stated.

Roche was arrested …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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