The Killeen Police Department officer who shot and killed Patrick Warren Sr. during a psychiatric call on Jan. 10 is a decorated military veteran who served 16 years in the Army, including a pair of deployments, Army officials verified this week.
The police officer, Reynaldo Contreras, worked as a Patriot Launching Station operator and Avenger crewmember during his time in the Army, from 1999 to 2015. He left the Army as a sergeant first class and deployed to Kuwait from November 2011 to October 2012 and to Iraq from September 2003 to May 2004, according to the Army.
He served at Fort Hood between March 2009 and July 2015.
Contreras, a five-year veteran of KPD, is on administrative leave while KPD detectives and the Texas Rangers investigate the case, which is normal protocol for officer involved shootings.
Both Warren’s family and KPD have released videos of the shooting, which has attracted nationwide media attention. The family is calling for KPD to fire Contreras and bring charges against him. Their lawyer has called Warren’s death a murder.
Warren, 52, was waving his arms and approaching Contreras when he was fatally shot near his front yard after being shocked with a Taser in response to a mental health call from the family.
Contreras graduated from the Killeen Police Academy in March 2016 along with eight other officers.
He also received the honor of top shot in his graduating class.
Police Chief Charles Kimble spoke about Contreras as an officer during a news conference on Tuesday.
Kimble said Contreras is a well-trained officer, and is not sure if additional training would have helped in the shooting situation. Contreras had the 40 hours of mental health training mandated by the state as well as an additional 40 hours, according to KPD.
“If I had a thousand hours of training, what could I have done to stop that?” Kimble said.
The Herald tried to reach KPD and Contreras for this report, but Kimble said Contreras did not wish to comment.
Contreras’ medals and awards from the Army include:
Army Commendation Medal (8th award)
Army Achievement Medal (3rd award)
Army Good Conduct Medal (5th award)
National Defense Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 campaign stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd award)
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon (2 nd award)
Valorous Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Superior Unit Award
Air Assault Badge
Gold Army Recruiter Badge w/Three Star Sapphires