LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The family of a man Metro killed by police at a Black Lives Matter protest is launching their own investigation. 25-year-old Jorge Gomez was shot and killed by officers on June 1 after Metro Police say they tried to break up a Black Lives Matter protest.
The shooting death happened the same night Metro Police Officer Shay Mikalonis was shot.
Jorge Gomez’s family believes there are holes in the story. They want more answers from both police and the public — anyone who may have seen what happened.
They’ve launched this website with the help of their attorneys, “Justice for Jorge Gomez.” People can submit photos, videos and eyewitness accounts.
Jeanne Llera is preparing for the cremation of her son, who she said loved music, animals and was passionate about environment.
“We’re not supposed to go before our kids, you know?” Llera said. “He had the kindest heart. Like when he gave you a hug, you felt that hug.”
At a media briefing on June 5, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones said Gomez raised his weapon at officers.
“Mr. Gomez raised that rifle in their direction,” said Assistant Sheriff Jones. “These officers engaged Mr. Gomez, firing several shots and striking him.”
But Gomez’s family isn’t convinced he raised his rifle.
Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones said police made an announcement for protesters to disperse. When it appeared Gomez wasn’t leaving, an officer came down the courthouse steps, fired low-lethal rounds at Gomez who ran in the other direction, and that’s when four other officers opened fire — after Jones says he raised his weapon.
The video shown by Metro is too grainy to show what exactly happened. The four officers weren’t wearing body cameras because according to Metro, they don’t usually work patrol.
Those officers were headed to the scene where officer Shay Mikalonis was shot minutes before.
“We feel bad because a cop was shot in the head that night. And these cops were, they were scared,” Llera said. “They were like on high alert. They were emotional. And my son was caught in the crossfires.”
According to Metro, Gomez was armed with three weapons and wore a ballistic vest and attended more than one protest.
In one video, he is seen cursing at police.
His mother says he was not anti-cop, but he supported Black Lives Matter and wanted bad officers held accountable. Now she wants officers at the scene held accountable.
“Why is there no more evidence?” Jazmin Gomez said. She is the younger sister of Gomez.
“As a mother, I think it’s the most painful thing I think I could imagine,” Llera said.
The I-Team revisited the scene and noticed four cameras in view. The U.S. Marshal who is in charge of federal buildings says his team has provided all video to Metro.
On June 5th, Metro said there was the only one video available.
As mentioned, the family is working with attorneys. The I-Team asked if the family will file a lawsuit. They said they want to get as much information as they can about that scene and then they’ will make a decision.