HomeSouth Asian AmericanFamily says man fatally shot by police was defending his home

Family says man fatally shot by police was defending his home

Rajan Moonesinghe was fatally shot by police on his porch in Texas while allegedly defending his home from a potential burglary. His family told NBC News police did not give him enough time to drop his gun before they shot him.

KVUE reports that the fatal shooting took place on November 15. Moonesinghe, the founder of a restaurant dining app called inKind, had just returned to his South Austin home after a business trip in California.

Moonesinghe’s close friend and neighbor Jonathan De Wolff told KVUE that Moonesinghe believed someone was in his home.

“I know he went to the neighboring house, who has the security detail set up, and he’d ask them if they’d seen something,” said De Wolff.

According to KVUE, a security guard called 911 when they noticed Moonsighe holding the gun. The security guard asked for police and described the situation as “possibly mental health.”

“So he’s now pointing it inside his home,” asked the 911 dispatcher, according to KVUE.

“Yeah, looks like. Oh, he just fired,” said the security guard.

The Austin Police Department has now released body cam footage from the incident. Officers arrived when Moonesinghe fired the second shot. Footage shows APD Officer Daniel Sanchez approach him from a distance, order him to drop his weapon and then shoot him with his own weapon.

“He did nothing wrong,” Johann Moonesinghe, Rajan’s brother, told NBC News. “He had a gun … he was defending his house and he didn’t point the gun. He was not menacing. He didn’t look like he was going to shoot anyone.”

Sanchez has been placed on administrative leave. The department issued a statement, where they acknowledge in their own words that Sanchez shot Moonseinghe immediately after ordering him to drop his gun.

“Officer Sanchez was the first to observe Mr. Moonesinghe and gave him a verbal command to drop the gun. Immediately after telling Mr. Moonesinghe to drop the gun, Officer Sanchez fired his Department approved firearm at Mr. Moonesinghe. Mr. Moonesinghe was struck and fell to the ground,” police said, according to NBC News.

De Wolff says the incident may make him think twice before calling for help.

“If I saw someone in my neighborhood and I didn’t know what was going on and I felt like my instinct would be to call the police, after this, my instinct is to not call the police because I would have assumed they’d come by, see what’s going on and leave, not show up and kill the person,” said De Wolff.

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