ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A suspect shot by police in north Abilene last month is speaking out from jail, making his version of events public for the first time.
Robert Guevara is currently being held in the Taylor County Jail on a $1 million bond for Assault of a Public Servant in connection to the incident that happened outside a home on the 3500 block of N 9th Street January 22.
Guevara sat down with BigCountryHomepage’s Victor Sotelo for a jailhouse interview, where he answers some questions that have arisen since the shooting that night – was he holding a child when he was shot by police? Why was the child even with him to begin with? Why did he have a gun? And, is there any body camera footage?
Watch their interview in the video attached or read the full transcription below:
Victor: Well, I just want to take you through that night. . . I just want to let you tell your story because police told their story, so we just wanna . . .
Robert: Well, what happened was I pulled up in the driveway of the vacant house. My parents had said they had a call about a broken window on my car, which was my cousin’s car, and there wasn’t no broken windows. There was nothin’ on my car that was damaged, so they really had no reason to be there. But, when I got out [of] the car, I went inside the house, picked up my son, my 2-year-old son, because I told my older son whenever he woke up to call me, and I’ll come pick him up. So – I went to pick him up, went inside, got the diaper bag, got everything ready, walked outside, and put him in the passenger seat. I reached over, put him in the passenger seat because I saw the gun, so I grabbed the gun and put it in my pocket. My left back pocket.
Victor: So you had a gun in the vehicle?
Robert: When I seen it…well I didn’t know it was on the passenger side.
Victor: Was it your gun?
Robert: No sir
Victor: How’d it get there?
Robert: That was my cousin’s gun because I was using my cousin’s car. I borrowed his car. He just told me to be careful. I didn’t think nothin’ of it. He said be careful, so I was like ‘alright’. So, when I pulled in the driveway, I got my son and reached over to put him over there I seen it on the side.
Victor: So you got in the driver’s side?
Robert: No – I didn’t get in. I just like reached over the seat to put him. . .
Victor: Over the driver’s side seat?
Robert: Yes sir – to put him in there. When I reached over there, I seen it, so I grabbed it and I put it in my left back pocket. I still reached over, and I hear ‘he has a gun’. And, I turned around and I was like ‘what. . . here’ and I started to hand it. . . by the time I looked, I realized it was a cop, so I hand it to him like this, and he shot me twice – boom, boom. He tried to say I pointed the gun at him with my right hand. There’s no way I can point a gun at you with my right hand and you shoot me in the left arm. That’s – I mean, that’s where it’s at.
Victor: Where did you get shot?
Robert: I got shot here once in my chest and once below it. And then one in my arm. The one that went through my arm – it hit me in my chest.
Victor: So officers fired twice at you?
Robert: Yes sir.
Victor: So, from what we heard that night, because I was there after it happened, what we heard that night was that you saw police looking in your car, or in the car you were in, and then you went outside with a gun to go check it out.
Robert: No. That’s. . .
Victor: That’s not how it happened?
Robert: No, it’s not. That’s what I’m saying. That is not how it happened.
Victor: So go through that again one more time. . .
Robert: I pulled up in the driveway. . .
Victor: How long were you there before you went back outside?
Robert: Not even two minutes. I don’t know any police officer who could arrive in two minutes on any scenes. If I would be the one to call, because there was a windshield broken on my cousin’s car
Victor: Because what we had heard was – the police went in there, looked in your car, saw something suspicious – maybe drugs or something, then went way to go talk about what they were going to do, and at that time you had come back out. Did they have time to do that?
Robert: No – they did not have time to do that. When I pulled up into the driveway, I got out, went inside, grabbed the diaper bag, grabbed my son, and walked back outside. And I seen the police car down the street, but it was two houses down. I didn’t suspect nothin’ of it, so I walked in to my car, I opened my passen. . . my driver’s side door, I mean. I opened the driver’s side door – I reached over, put my son on the seat, and then I seen the gun. So I grabbed the gun, put it in my back pocket, and by that time, they came around. I heard like leaves crumbling, I was like. . . didn’t think nothin’ of it, then I heard ‘he has a gun’. So I turned around and I was like ‘here’. I grabbed it like ‘here – take it’. Boom. Boom. Shot me twice.
Victor: Did you say those words – ‘take it’?
Robert: Yes sir – take it. And he said, ‘boom. boom.’ didn’t even say nothin’ else. That’s why I’m so mad. Like, I did not do nothin’. I handed him the gun over. I wouldn’t put my self – I wouldn’t even put my two-year-old in harm’s way like that, man.
Victor: Well, that’s what everyone was asking – why would you go outside to check on your car with a gun and your two-year-old?
Robert: Exactly – that’s what I mean. Like, I would not do that. I’ve coached baseball for 10 years. I love kids. I’m around kids all the time. I would not put kids in harm’s way like that, especially my own two-year-old son. And that’s what gets me, man, that’s what gets me mad. I’m in here for nothin’. I didn’t do nothin’. That dude shot me twice. . . and he didn’t even announce he was Abilene Police Department. He didn’t tell me to put my hands up. He didn’t say nothin’ like that.
Victor: What did he say when he came up to you?
Robert: ‘He has a gun’ – that’s all he said. All I heard was leaves crumbling – ‘He has a gun’
Victor: So you heard the footsteps?
Robert: Yes. I heard footsteps when I was leaning over, and I was like ‘what the heck?’. By the time I could get up . . .
Victor: Was that gun already in your back pocket?
Robert: Yes sir. It was already in my back pocket.
Victor: So he saw it as you were. . .
Robert: He had to have. He had to. And then he was like ‘he has a gun’, and I didn’t think nothin’ . . . who it was at first, and when I turned around to reach for it, I was like ‘oh, it’s a cop’, so I handed it to him – ‘here, take it’. Boom. Boom. He shot me twice. He tried to say I pointed the gun with my right hand and took it out of my back. If I point a gun at you with my right hand, there’s no way you’re going to shoot me in my chest and in my arm.
Victor: So you actually handed it to him like that?
Robert: Yes. I handed it to him like this, and he shot me. Boom. It went through my arm, hit me in the chest. Then he shot again. Boom. Shot me twice.
Victor: Do you know anything about where the investigation lies right now?
Robert: No. I talked to my lawyer last Wednesday. The last time I talked to him was Wednesday. I don’t know nothin’ else. I don’t even know if he got me a bond reduced. I don’t know what’s going on. That’s what’s driving me nuts in here, man. I’m in segregation – d-seg 1. Nobody with me. One single cell. And I have no idea what’s going on.
Victor: You have a million-dollar bond. You haven’t had a bond reduction hearing yet or anything?
Robert: Nope. And that’s what’s making me upset, like what’s the hold up? I didn’t do nothin’ . . . what did I do wrong? And that’s what’s driving me nuts in there, man.
Victor: I’m getting the idea from people I’ve been talking to that you all are getting worried that this might all get swept under the rug, and people are going to forget about this. . .
Robert: Well, I’m hoping. . . I’m hoping they just dismiss the case and we go on our separate ways, but I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on.
Victor: Is there body cam footage? Do you know?
Robert: Well, when I talked to my attorney Wednesday. . .when he said something about the body cams, he said they were turned off between the hours of 18:17 to 18:57. And I said – why? Why were they turned off? He said, “well I don’t know if they was turned off because they just put it in the report, but he was supposed to be looking at the body cams. Like I said, I don’t know nothin’. They haven’t told me anything. . .
Victor: So, between those times you said that it was turned off, is that the time the incident happened?
Robert: Yes sir.
Victor: So there’s no footage of this, according to your attorney?
Robert: According to what the lawyer said, he wasn’t for sure if they just took it out to edit it or what. . . and I was like ‘well why wasn’t the cameras on – if they were off, then what the heck?’ He said, “well, I’ve got to find out.” So I’m just waiting on the lawyer to find out what’s going on.
Victor: So you’re hoping that they’ll see what happened and see your story and dismiss the case?
Robert: Yeah, that’s what I’m really praying for. That’s exactly what I’m praying for – that he sees the truth. That he didn’t just turn them off, blacked them out – ’cause then I have to get investigators to see exactly how my gunshot wounds were. . . I could be in here longer. So my thing is just – “look at the body cams.” I have have an eye-witness across the street who witnessed everything. So I’m like – “come on, man. What is the holdup?” But he told me this is going to be a long road. This ain’t a long road, man. I’m innocent, bro. I didn’t do nothin’. I did not assault an officer. I didn’t do anything they’re saying I did, man. He said – “well, we’ve got to find out first.” So that’s why I’m here just waiting.
Victor: So just to recap, what we were told the night of is that, like I said, you came out because you saw someone looking in your car. You saw flashlights looking in your car. You came out with a gun and your child, two-year-old, and somehow pointed a gun . . .
Robert: Exactly. Pointed a gun at him with my right hand with my son sitting next to me – I wouldn’t do that. I would never put my son in harm’s way, first off. And like I said, the shots don’t add up to me pointing a gun at you with my right hand. Even if I had my other hand on my gun, it’s not gonna go through that part because you straighten out when you point. And that’s what I’m saying, it’s just a bunch of lies. That’s all they’re doing is lying, trying to cover up themselves. And that’s why I’m just – so aggravated, man. Being in here – I didn’t do nothin’ But hey, it is what it is. I’m in here right now, so. . .
Victor: Okay. Well, is there anything else you want to add that you want people to know about what happened that night? Or about. . .
Robert: Well, that’s the truth. That’s exactly how it happened. I didn’t do nothin’. I was handing him that gun, and he shot me twice.
Victor: In your version of the story, should the officer be punished?
Robert: Yes. He should. I mean, if he had announced he was Abilene Police Department -‘freeze’. . . ‘put your hands up’ – I would have done that. I would have stopped. I would have put my hands up. He could have searched wherever on me. If he had said he found whatever on me, then whatever. But there was nothing on me. If he had announced he was Abilene Police Department at that time. . . it was in the car. I reached to put my son over the seat, and that’s when I grabbed it and put it in my back pocket, and by the time I could reach up, he was there. He was right behind me, screaming, “he gots a gun. he gots a gun.” – “here, take it” – boom. boom. Shot me twice, just like that. That’s why I’ve been so mad. Like dude, I didn’t do nothin’. If anything, he should be the one behind these bars. He didn’t announce he was Abilene Police Department. That could have been anyone behind me who shot me. I wouldn’t have known.
Victor: The reason you’re doing this interview is because you want people to know that story?
Robert: Yeah. I want them to know I’m innocent and that I didn’t do nothin’. It’s that cop that should be punished, man. I’ve heard stories about that cop already in here.
KTAB and KRBC have filed a Public Information Request to obtain a copy of any Abilene Police Department body camera and/or dash camera footage that documented this officer-involved shooting.
The City of Abilene sent that request to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on if the footage is able to be released February 20.
BigCountryHomepage.com will provide an update once that opinion or the footage is received.