UPDATE: Suspect's Attorneys Now Frustrated After Officer-Involved Shooting
POSTED: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 5:09pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 5:10pm
EL PASO - It's a case that's getting stranger by the day. Hector Piedra was shot and wounded by El Paso police over the weekend. Now, his attorneys say they have been threatened by police.
Police say Piedra pointed a gun at them, so they fired. His family reached out to us saying they couldn't see their loved one in the hospital.
Attorneys Virginia Longoria and Luis Yanez say when they went to Del Sol Medical Center to see Piedra over the weekend, hospital administration let them on through. But they say two officers outside the intensive care unit refused to let them in and even threatened to arrest them for criminal trespassing.
"They're not permitting us to talk to our client," Longoria said. "They're not permitting us to even look at him, like just look, is he even there, is he even alive?"
Over the weekend, police say they shot Piedra in the stomach and thigh after he pointed a handgun at them. They tell us they've recovered a 22-caliber pistol. But Piedra's family says he doesn't own a gun, but he does have a broken finger that police may have mistaken for a gun.
Police insist Piedra is at Del Sol Medical Center and will be arrested once he recovers, but Del Sol tells us they have no record of Piedra being at their facility. The family is still waiting for answers.
"We're desperate, we're like, where's he at, where they took him, we don't know what's going on, we've been here 5 days," said Piedra's niece, Elizabeth Espino.
Longoria says she went to Del Sol Sunday and hospital administration let them through. When she got to the ICU, an officer was standing guard.
"He just suddenly hit us with, that we were going to be arrested for criminal trespassing, and first of all no one had told us to leave," she said.
She said the officer took down both of their driver's license numbers and escorted them out of the hospital.
"I've been practicing here in El Paso County, Texas since 1987 and I have never experienced that," Longoria said.
Because of all of the questions that have now arisen, she thinks the police should not be investigating this.
"They need to recognize that they have a definite conflict of interest," Longoria said.
Another media outlet is reporting that Longoria served a year in jail in 2008 for a burglary charge, but Piedra's birth date does not match the birth date of the person by the same name who served that sentence.