Family seeks answers after police kill man on his own porch

Dec 2, 2022, 5:02 AM | Updated: 8:13 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The family of an Austin, Texas, man is seeking answers after he was fatally shot by police last month on his front porch following a late-night emergency call by a neighbor.

Video and audio released Thursday show Austin police officers arrived Nov. 15, yelled “drop your gun,” then fired at Rajan Moonesinghe, who was holding an AR-15-style weapon.

Officers were responding to a 911 call requesting police and mental health support because a man was holding a long gun outside in the residential neighborhood. The caller, who was not identified in the recording, said the man had approached him earlier in the day to ask if he had noticed anything suspicious in the area.

When officers arrived, Ring security camera footage released by police shows Moonesinghe had just fired two shots into his home.

Moments earlier, the security camera footage shows Moonesinghe speaking in the direction of his house while pointing the gun inside, but it is not clear why.

Body camera footage released by police shows officers running to the porch and attempting life-saving measures after shooting Moonesinghe.

Officers checked Moonesinghe’s house and didn’t find anyone inside, police said.

Officer Daniel Sanchez was identified by Austin police as the officer who fired at Moonesinghe. Sanchez, who has worked for the department for almost three years, was placed on administrative leave, police said.

The Austin police Special Investigations Unit in conjunction with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal probe. There also will be an Internal Affairs Unit administrative inquiry with oversight from the citizen-led Office of Police Oversight, police said.

Moonesinghe’s older brother said in a statement that officers “shot first and asked questions later.” Johann Moonesinghe said he wants city officials and the Travis County district attorney to hold the officer who killed his brother accountable.

“Otherwise, these senseless shootings will continue and more innocent people will be shot and killed by Austin police officers,” Johann Moonesinghe said.

The Moonesinghe brothers founded inKind, an Austin-based business that says it helps restaurants access capital without traditional investment or loans.

El Khattary, a friend of the Moonesinghe brothers who lives five doors away, said Rajan Moonesinghe was concerned about crime in the area.

Khattary, who said a man once jumped his fence before fleeing, said he recently spoke with Moonesinghe about his safety concerns following a different criminal incident near the neighborhood.

“We were all on high alert,” Khattary said. “I know he was concerned about that in previous conversations with him.”

Khattary said the security video shows officers shot Moonesinghe without asking questions.

“This is not unusual for police around the country,” Khattary said, adding he wanted officers to be held accountable if something was done wrong.

The police department declined to comment further beyond official statements.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of policing: https://apnews.com/hub/police

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
15 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
15 hours ago
Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Jennifer Coolidge, center, rides in a parade ...
Associated Press

Hasty Pudding celebrates Coolidge as its Woman of the Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — “The White Lotus” actress Jennifer Coolidge is being celebrated Saturday as the 2023 Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals. As the oldest theatrical organization in the nation and one of the oldest in the world, since 1951, Hasty Pudding Theatricals has bestowed this award annually on women […]
2 days ago
Members of the ground crew secure the site after a United airlines flight made an emergency landing...
Associated Press

Engine problems force Vegas-bound flight to land in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Las Vegas made an unplanned stop in Nebraska on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems. Mark Grant, a communications operator at the Lincoln Airport, said 326 passengers and crew members were aboard the Boeing 777 when it took off from O’Hare International […]
2 days ago
CORRECTS TO KINGSTOWN, NOT KINGSTON - In this photo provided by Brian Branch, a large balloon drift...
Associated Press

Eyes on the sky as Chinese balloon shot down over Atlantic

Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as the suspected Chinese spy balloon that traversed the U.S. over the past week drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a crowd lining the beach boardwalk cheered as the balloon was struck by a missile […]
2 days ago
A woman clears debris from a landscape of charred remains in Santa Ana, Chile, Saturday, Feb. 4, 20...
Associated Press

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters struggled to control dozens of raging wildfires that have claimed at least 22 lives amid a scorching heat wave that has broken records. The government declared a state of catastrophe in the La Araucanía region, which is south […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Family seeks answers after police kill man on his own porch