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Two Texas police officers, including one already charged with murder, were charged Friday in the July 2019 shooting of an Austin scientist who neighbors say was suffering from a mental health crisis.
A special Travis County grand jury indicted Austin police officers Christopher Taylor and Karl Krycia on charges of murder and deadly conduct in the shooting death of Mauris de Silva. The shooting occurred after neighbors in a condo building downtown reported that De Silva was having a psychotic break and was holding a knife to his neck.
According to police reports, Taylor, Krycia and a third officer confronted De Silva and told him to drop the knife. When De Silva lowered the knife to his side and advanced on the officers, Taylor and Krycia fired at him while the third officer fired a stun gun.
Both Taylor and Krycia are free on their own and on leave from the police force. “To protect the integrity of the criminal process in this matter, APD has delayed reaching any conclusions in its administrative review of the officers’ actions,” the police department said in a statement.
Taylor’s attorneys released a statement defending his actions, saying he had no choice but to use deadly force to protect himself. They predicted a jury acquittal and complained that Travis County District Attorney José Garza refused to allow the grand jury to hear from a use of force expert who had reviewed the case and found the shooting justified. .
“So far we have refrained from accusing District Attorney José Garza of waging a war against the police. After today’s two new murder charges, we don’t know how else to characterize what he’s doing, “Austin attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell said in the joint statement.
The District Attorney’s Office responded in a statement that the allegations made by Taylor’s attorneys are false. It was not immediately clear if Krycia has an attorney.
Taylor was already under a murder charge in April 2020 for the shooting death of Michael Ramos, who was unarmed and shot as he began to walk away from a possible drug bust.
Police said officers were investigating reports of people in a car, including an armed man, using drugs when they encountered Ramos.
Manley said Ramos got out of the car with his hands raised and his shirt lifted as if to show that he did not have a gun at his waist, but then he ignored the officer’s orders to stay out of the car and was shot first with a bean bag. and then while driving. Taylor shot him with a rifle.