Maker of restraint device follows deadly shooting involving local officer
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – A Temple, Ariz.-based company that makes non-lethal restraining devices is following the case of a Killeen police officer who shot and killed a man with mental health issues who ignored repeated commands to lie down and show his hands.
Killeen police Officer Reynaldo Contreras, a five-year department veteran shot Patrick Warren, Sr., 52, after responding at around 5:40 p.m. on Jan. 10 to a home in the 1600 block of Carrollton Avenue in Killeen after police received a call requesting a mental health officer.
Killeen police and Texas Rangers are investigating.
Wrap Technologies makes a device called the BolaWrap, which was demonstrated to Temple police last month.
The hand-held device discharges an eight-foot Kevlar tether that wraps around a suspect’s legs or arms from a range of 10 to 25 feet, the company says.
The device is used by law enforcement agencies in 48 states including 17 in Texas for a variety of scenarios law enforcement officers encounter, but was originally invented to help officers responding to mental health calls.
“All the issues we’re dealing with, with mental illness subjects, we’re seeing an influx in mental illness. So this device was originally intended to be used against those rather than using traditional methods of law enforcement tools that they have that focus on pain to gain compliance,” Rodney Sherrod, senior master instructor for BolaWrap said during the presentation to Temple police.
The BolaWrap was demonstrated to Killeen police a year ago.
Officials say they don’t intend to use it, but didn’t say why.
Each device sells for $925 with additional costs for each cartridge.
Investing in more mental health resources is something the Warren family attorney says Killeen should have done a long time ago.
“There has been decades for the Killeen Police Department to prepare for this exact situation. We are next to Fort Hood, the city of Killeen has a history of people with mental health issues,” Lee Merritt said.
Temple police are still considering whether to purchase the device.
Waco police already have it.
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