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Man dies after charging Beeville police while armed

Beeville OIS at Oyo.jpg
officer-involved shooting
Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 19:02:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas  — A man shot by a Beeville Police Department officer Wednesday died at the scene.

The incident happened just after 9:30 a.m., police said, when they were called out to the OYO Hotel located at 3609 North Saint Marys Street, where the man, later identified as Jerry Esparza, was banging on hotel-room doors and yelling.

When officers confronted the man, Beeville Police Chief Kevin Behr said he charged a police car with a knife in his hand as it pulled into the hotel parking lot.

"We don’t know what triggered him this morning," Behr said. "But our only reason to come here was to try to settle the disturbance and calm everybody down. I can assure it wasn’t to get into a gun fight.”

Behr said Esparza was staying at the motel with his girlfriend.

He added Esparza does have a criminal record and was released from jail on July 1.

His mother said that's the day she saw her son for the first time in eight years. She said he was happy and they had an enjoyable holiday weekend. Esparza's family isn't sure what caused his behavior to change.

Ken Jefferson was the first on scene, and is the officer that shot Esparza. As is protocol, he was placed on leave while an investigation is conducted.

"There will be a full and complete investigation. That is being headed by the Texas Rangers at my request, said Behr. "I think that just shows we're objective. We want to know exactly what happened.

Behr said Jefferson has been an officer for 30 years and this is the first shooting he's involved in.

The investigation into the incident is underway, and Behr said surveillance video exists of the incident.

Sr. Digital Content producer Ana Tamez contributed to this developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 News for more updates.