Protesters in San Antonio were planning to demonstrate again on Friday evening after former combat veteran Damian Lamar Daniels, 31, was fatally shot by deputies during a mental health call on Tuesday. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Thursday that Daniels and his family made four separate calls in the lead up to the shooting, reporting that Daniels was suicidal and suffering paranoid episodes. In the final callout, Salazar said deputies could see a “bulge” at Daniels’ hip that they assumed was a handgun. As they tried to detain Daniels, a struggle broke out and Daniels’ tried to grab a deputy’s stun gun and then reached for his own gun, Salazar said. Deputies were “pleading” with Daniels to let go of his gun and “it was very clear they were in a fight for their lives,” he added.
Salazar’s office released photos of the encounter “in the interest of transparency and timeliness.” “Quite frankly, I’m still really quite in awe of the restraint, the level of restraint, shown by our deputies,” he said. One photo, taken from a body camera, shows the bulge inside Daniels’ shirt. S. Lee Merritt, a family attorney, said Daniels had a legal hun on his hip “that he never removed” and his family had asked the Red Cross to get Daniels to the VA. The incident prompted protesters to gather outside the Sheriff’s office and Bexar County Jail. One organizer told San Antonio Express-News that they don’t think officers are equipped to handle mental health calls.