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Reynaldo Contreras

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

Parachutist Badge

Gold Army Recruiter Badge w/Three Star Sapphires

254-501-7464 | hking@kdhnews.com

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(3) comments

simon

Ahh no. This isn't acceptable.

It's not just good enough to say he was a war vet who couldn't help himself.

He couldn't help himself because he helped himself to a role he was unfit for.

Here's the math: Ex vet Cop, does not equal qualified mental health worker.

The issue was he shouldn't have been there. Plain and simple, he was a bear to a hornet's nest. He was not the right candidate for the job. Who ever placed him on the job should pay the highest price, but he's not innocent by any stretch of the imagination.

To those asking god to come to the officer; how about the entire family that now has no father of the victim? This is why I had to comment here.

I MARRIED someone who has to be admitted to hospital yearly. Here in Australia, I didn't have to fear losing anyone to a bullet because our health system isn't fundamentally disastrous. It's frustratingly obvious to people in Australia and the Netherlands.

They said they had also called for help the day before and - as requested - a mental health professional arrived at their home.

The professional managed to calm Warren down and took him to Advent Medical for treatment.

He then returned home but continued to suffer mental health issues the next day, his family said. But here in Australia, him being a danger to himself and his family would have earned him a stay in a safe mental ward and a full recovery for free.

You need to see the bigger picture that goes beyond the two people in this crime.

To the ever growing list of police victims, this is just another white cop shooting a black man. Or to those who are mentally ill, who's afraid of being shot by a cop, I get it.

A man who was unarmed and broken inside, who just needed to talk, shot down like a dog in front of his family. Don't defer the blame of murder to the victim, he didn't have that coming. The blame is the responsibility portrayed by dispatching the complete wrong unit to handle the situation.

Being a war vet, Contreras might actually have PTSD. That's a mental illness that blurs the lines of the past and present, danger and safety. This military trained cop is more dangerous and unpredictable than a broken family man. A man having a mental breakdown during covid while supporting his family on peanuts? sadly, not a crazy or unusual concept. You want to put a gun in the ex vet's hand while having them do a mental health worker's job? THAT is insanity.

It's low and just plain wrong to accept this at face value and move on. This has to change..

The Reynaldo Contreras who went to war is not the same man who came back, and you cannot continue to accept recklessness without depriving yourself of an effective health system.

I had to put some balance of opinion here.

-S

Patsy Craig

God bless you Sir. His family is responsible for what happened. They should have done more after his previous melt downs when they called authorities. It is all on the family and not you.

Choc

If you watch the video, the officer did everything he could to try and prevent having to use lethal force. It is easy to judge and say he should have done something else, but the truth is, mentally ill or not, the man was very large and dangerous. He was lunging towards the officer. Having mentally ill family members, I know how strong and dangerous they can be. If the man had gotten a hold of the officer, they both could have ended up dying. The officer did not want to shoot the man, he had to. If people of society are allowed to shoot someone when they feel their lives are in danger, then it is no different for police officers. Stop making it sound like all officers are bad...that is so far from the truth. There are so many that really are just trying to help and doing the best they can.

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