Texas

Boy shot by police officer during interrogation in back of squad car

July 24, 1973
Dallas, Texas
Brothers David (13, left) and Santos (12, right) Rodriguez are pulled from their beds, handcuffed, and questioned in squad car before a police officer interrogating them shoots Santos

The boys were awakened in the night by officers who suspected the brothers of stealing $8 in change from a Coke machine. The boys were taken, still in their pajamas and without shoes, into the officers’ car to be questioned. Not getting the answers he was looking for, Officer Darrell L. Cain used his service weapon to intimidate the children. He held the gun to Santos’ head and told him to tell the truth. He clicked the trigger; the gun did not fire. “I am telling the truth” were Santos’ last words, stated just before Cain pulled the trigger of his .357 Magnum. This time, the gun fired.

Officer Robert Rowe arrived on the scene minutes after the shooting. He recalled, “I saw the boy laying in the backseat all bloody. His brother was in the front seat and both of them were handcuffed. There was an officer down on his knees. I found out later it was Cain. He had thrown up and was on his knees crying.”

Cain was tried and convicted of murder. He was given a 5 year sentence and was released after serving half his term.

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