Man fatally shot as police attempt to serve warrant

BROWNSVILLE — The Texas Rangers are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Brownsville that left one man dead yesterday morning.

While serving a felony warrant for 31-year-old German Ornelas, officers and detectives from the Brownsville Police Department attempted to arrest Ornelas, who was fatally shot in the encounter at a residence on West St. Charles Street.

According to police, the warrant was for burglary of a habitation.

Police found Ornelas in a back room and said he brandished a knife.

According to police spokesman J.J. Treviño, the officers repeatedly told Ornelas to put down the knife, which officers said he refused to do.

Fearing for their lives, the officers shot the man, Treviño said.

Ornelas was transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, where he died, according to family members and authorities.

Standing outside the hospital, the man’s family disputed statements made by police and told a reporter that Ornelas was sleeping when police knocked on the door.

Ornelas’ aunt, Maria Celia Hernandez, answered the door, she said.

“It was scary,” she said, adding that five shots were fired.

According to Hernandez, Ornelas did not have a knife. She said police tried to persuade the family to say that he did.

“We want justice,” said Norma Melendez, another aunt of Ornelas.

Brownsville police spokesman J.J. Trevino said several officers are to be placed on administrative leave for three days as authorities investigate the shooting.