Local Man Killed By Police Was Bipolar; Family Questions Officer’s Actions

Kristofer Gagliardi (Family photo)

Kristofer Gagliardi (Family photo)

COPPERAS COVE (February 5, 2013)—Kristofer Gagliardi, 24, the knife-wielding man whom a Copperas Cove police officer shot to death Saturday night after responding to a domestic disturbance call, was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had used the knife he was carrying to cut his own wrists, his mother, Dawn Prewitt, said Tuesday.

Prewitt said she was standing about five feet from her son Saturday night outside of a duplex in the 500 block of Westview Lane when the officer fired, striking Gagliardi twice in the chest.

She said her son called the officer a racial slur before he was shot.

"He said ‘go ahead and shoot me’ and used the racial slur, and as soon as he said that he shot him twice," Prewitt said.

Then, she says, the officer handcuffed her son and dragged him into the yard of the duplex.

"They drug him like a dead animal across the yard, they just had no compassion," Prewitt said.

“There was no other police officer there,” she said.

“I was the one that had to witness my son dying in vain, I'm the one who had to see that he was crying for help,” she said.

Gagliardi’s brother Josh, said Tuesday he thought Kristofer had been doing better since moving to Copperas Cove with his mother.

He got a job with the City of Killeen Mowing and Drainage Department and had finished his GED, he said.

Coryell County Justice of the Peace John Guinn pronounced Gagliardi dead at 9:50 p.m. Saturday.

Guinn said when he arrived, Gagliardi's body was in the yard of the duplex and there was a knife with a blade about five inches long next to him.

Guinn said it appeared Gagliardi had been shot twice in the chest.

"Officers were responding to a domestic violence call and when they arrived Gagliardi came out of the duplex with a knife," Guinn said.

Guinn said that the first officer on the scene retreated to the street in front of the duplex and that at some point fired the shot that killed Gagliardi.

Authorities ordered the body sent to Southwest Institute of Forensic Science, in Dallas, for autopsy.

On Monday Guinn said the preliminary autopsy report showed the cause of death was the two gunshot wounds to the upper body.

Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting.

Coryell County District Attorney Dusty Boyd said he expects to get a report on the results of the investigation by the end of the month.


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