HUNTSVILLE, Alabama –
Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who was found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of an African-American motorist, Philando Castille, was shot this morning in a eerily similar manner.
According to police in Huntsville, Alabama, Yanez was passing through the town on his way to visit family in New England, when he was stopped by local officer for speeding, and driving with excessively tinted windows.
“He stopped, and I asked him to roll down his window,” said officer Barry Smith, a decorated veteran on the force with nearly 25 years and a spotless record. “He did, and immediately started to tell me he was a cop, he was a cop, and that I should let him go.”
According to Smith, Yanez then proceeded to reach for “his badge,” which was laying on the seat next to him. The seat also contained a gun.
“I told him to keep his hands where I could see them, and not reach for the gun, but he kept reaching,” said Smith. “He laughed, and reached again, and said ‘Oh this old thing,’ and went for it…so I drew my weapon and fired.”
Smith fired his weapon into the car 4 times, hitting Yanez in the arm twice, the chest once, and the leg once. Although he was severely injured, the spots in which he was hit were not causing life threatening injuries.
“Smith is the best officer we have and, frankly, he didn’t know who he was dealing with,” said Chief Mario Richards. “Mr. Yanez is rather dark skinned for these parts, and it really made Officer Smith afraid. I cannot blame him for shooting Yanez at all. He will not be reprimanded for doing his job to the best of his abilities.”
Yanez is recovering in an Alabama hospital.