Ten days after a League City police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old Dickinson man while searching for a robbery suspect, the man’s family still was looking for answers, two attorneys said.
“They don’t want to bury the body,” said U.A. Lewis, an attorney representing the family. “It’s hard for them to let go. It’s hard for them to put their son in the ground.”
Attorneys representing the family of Alvaro Herrera, 18, said Thursday they still had many questions about the circumstances leading up to his death.
“If he was armed, that’s one of the first things they would have told you,” attorney Randall Kallinen said. “Have they explained why they had to shoot him?”
Representatives for the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday they had no new details to offer in the investigation, but referred questions about the robbery investigation to League City police.
Herrera was killed Jan. 23 as police were responding to an attempted carjacking in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy in League City.
Herrera attempted to take officer Stephen Massey’s firearm, according to an account provided by the sheriff’s office, which is investigating the shooting.
Massey was able to keep control of his weapon, and fired at Herrera, who died at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.
Herrera was shot three times, Lewis said.
“Why did it take three shots by the officer?” Lewis asked. “How was it necessary?”
The family also wanted to know whether police had identified Herrera as the suspect in the attempted robbery, Kallinen said.
“Have they positively identified him?” Kallinen asked. “The police take the negative information about the individual and give it to the media. The fact that they haven’t confirmed he was the carjacker makes me think maybe he wasn’t.”
League City police Thursday confirmed to The Daily News that Herrera was the suspect officers had been looking after the attempted carjacking.
Police were looking for a robbery suspect after receiving a call about a woman who was approached in the CVS parking lot by a man who demanded her car keys and hit her on the side of the head with a pipe, a League City police department spokesman said.
The man apparently had dropped the metal pipe while fleeing the CVS, Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.
The woman ran into the store with her keys and the man left the store on foot heading southeast, police said.
Herrera matched the description of the man suspected in the robbery, police said.
Police found Herrera walking in the 1600 block of Laslina Lane in League City, which is more than a mile from the CVS pharmacy.
Kallinen and Lewis said Thursday they were awaiting more details to emerge from the investigation and hoped it would be conducted fairly, but acknowledged that a lawsuit was possible.
“If it turns out they shot him while he was fighting with the cop and was the carjacker, that’s one thing,” Kallinen said. “But if he wasn’t fighting the officer at the time of the shooting and wasn’t the carjacker, that’s a totally different story. We’re trying to investigate further.”
Lewis also provided more details about Herrera.
He was a Honduran immigrant who worked for his father’s landscaping business, she said. He was the only person in his family who spoke English, she said.
“He was not a dreamer, but he arrived four years ago seeking citizenship, although undocumented,” Lewis said.
He had no criminal history, she said.
The family had lived in the Clear Lake area before recently moving to Dickinson, Lewis said.
Herrera was one of seven siblings, Lewis said.