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Man Shot by Napa Cop was Unarmed, Authorities Say

The man injured in Sunday night's officer-involved shooting in a south Napa backyard was unarmed, according to a report in the Napa Valley Register. A brother-in-law says he is a Mexican drug addict who was afraid of being deported and losing his family.

The man who was shot in the face by a Napa police officer after a foot chase ended in a struggle Sunday night was an unarmed Mexican meth addict afraid of losing his family, according to a report in the .

In "Relative defends man shot by police," brother-in-law Steve Aldama tells Register reporter Kerana Todorov that Luis Armando Contreras, the man shot by officer Thomas Keener, went to the on Imola Avenue to buy methamphetamine, to which he is addicted.

Contreras was not armed, authorities said, and Aldama tells the Register his brother-in-law ran from Keener because he was afraid of being deported to Mexico and separated from his wife and child.

After the shooting just before 11 p.m. Sunday, Contreras was transferred from to a hospital in Sonoma County where he was in a medically-induced coma but expected to survive, according to the , which is investigating the shooting.

Keener has been placed on administrative leave, standard Napa Police Department policy following an officer-involved shooting, said sheriff's Lieut. Tracey Stuart.

Less than two days after Contreras was shot, Napa police arrested a 59-year-old man they said had a "large package of methamphetamine" with him in the area of the 7-Eleven at Imola Avenue and Parrish Road: Please see ."

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Elaine Walker May 17, 2012 at 04:01 PM
While the article itself is mostly neutral in tone, the summary includes phrasing that really could use some editing..."a drug-addicted Mexican afraid of being deported" sounds racist and judgmental. How about "an undocumented immigrant who uses methamphetamine and is concerned about being deported"?
Jeffrey Wright May 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM
That doesn't surprise me that he was unarmed ..........
tom merle May 17, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Ah, good old PC paternalism. It was a relative who made the statement not the reporter; "A brother-in-law says he was a drug-addicted Mexican afraid of being deported and losing his family". Seems pretty straightforward to me; but let's rewrite what he said to prevent the ruffling of any feathers.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Elaine, I'm pretty sure I would have written it the same way if he had been Italian, but I'm glad you brought this up and I welcome other comments.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I could rewrite it, but that would hide the fact that I did it in the first place, and so far opinions seem divided on whether or not it was wrong. So, might as well leave it in the open for discussion.
Candy Word May 17, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I don't think he was afraid of being deported as much as he was of getting caught using, buying or selling drugs...just saying that I don't think being Mexican or losing his family had anything to do with his running.
Napapaisa May 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Wow who cares about his personal problems or status this man got shot in the face, why not in the leg? Who knows why don't we focus on the situation I for one think the cop went over his authority broken jaw, broken bones I happen to noe someone that lives in that area and he heard what really happened no one told him he saw so I'm waiting for the outcome., which will be he was scared it was dark and pulled out his gun instead of his stun gun..
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau May 17, 2012 at 07:20 PM
While authorities confirm he was unarmed, they have also made no indication that any drugs or drug paraphernalia were found. The facts so far support the claim that he was running to avoid deportation. If you use speculation to determine what occured then your judgement is flawed. If this had been a civilian shooter the media would be parading every last detail they could scratch up about them, and yet we know little about Officer Keener from the media. We know more about the victim than the shooter. Why can't we know about Keener's history? Is he PTSD Military? Did he endure a troubled youth? What do his co-workers and family think about him? Civilian shooters are always put on display in the media and yet officer shooters are left alone.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I'm making a slight change to the description, thanks again Elaine.
E May 18, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Another case of the Napa Sheriff's Department investigating a shooting by a local police officer. Once again we see the need for an independent police review commission in Napa to have objective investigations in which the family and community can feel confident about the result.
tom merle May 18, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Good heavens Louisa. How is "a Mexican drug addict ..." different from "a drug-addicted Mexican..." You're trying to split hairs to avoid being called a racist. Our hyper sensitivity has come to this. Ridiculous.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM
It's not different, Tom. I just prefer the way it looks and sounds. Very seldom do I nail something on the "first take!"
Matt Grantham May 18, 2012 at 02:04 PM
It will be interesting to see if witnesses are allowed to speak to the media, or as the case with the Poccia shooting, where they were told to be quiet
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 21, 2012 at 05:37 PM
"Napapaisa," we have had an email from Sheriff's Detective Patrick McMahon, who is investigating this shooting, asking your witness friend to come forward so police can interview him about what he saw. Could you please ask him to call the detective at (707) 299-1521? I know you are interested in the outcome of the investigation and they are asking for your help.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) May 21, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Update to my earlier comment: Detective McMahon clarifies that he's not the lead investigator on this case, just assisting to make sure detectives have been able to interview all the witnesses. It's possible "Napapaisa"'s friend has already spoken with the investigators, McMahon said; he just wanted to make sure they hadn't missed anyone.

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