Suspect’s family raises questions following officer-involved shooting

Posted at 9:52 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 21:52:59-05

WYOMING, Mich. — A family wants answers after they say their loved one was hurt during an officer-involved shooting on Monday.

Police have called this a domestic dispute that turned into a officer shooting 37-year-old Manuel Cavasos, but relatives say it didn’t need to end like that.

“It just blows my mind,” said Abraham Cavasos. ” I just feel bad for my cousin.”

Abraham and Robert Cavasos have known their cousin for their entire lives.

They tell FOX 17 they were the only two who saw him for a brief moment in the ICU at the hospital on Monday after he was shot.

“They have a bandage with the holes and there is blood all over it,”  Abraham Cavasos said. “He can barely breathe, and was like, ‘It hurts, it hurts, it hurts.'”

According to the Wyoming Police Department, officers were called to a domestic dispute with a suspect reportedly armed with a knife. The department says one of its officers confronted Manuel outside of a home off of Walter and Division and shot him.

But the loved ones say says they heard a different story from Manuel’s girlfriend.

“(It’s) like my brother was saying earlier, they didn’t have to shoot him,” Robert Cavasos said. “He does have some issues, but it didn’t have to lead up to this where they had to shoot him.”

Relatives say Manuel Cavasos got into a fight with his girlfriend, but but only had the knife because he possibly planned to hurt himself with it.

“As soon as he turns around, they shoot him,” Abraham Cavasos said. “He didn’t run or lunge at the police or anything.”

Loved ones admit that his lengthy history likely didn’t help the situation.

A search of Manuel’s criminal record brings up several offenses including:  felony burglary, obstruction, armed robbery and misdemeanor assault.

“The worst part is him sitting there and him telling him that they are going to send him back to prison for a long time,” Abraham Cavasos said.  “And he’s like, ‘I didn’t try to hurt anybody. They shot me, and they’re trying to send me back to prison.'”

Family says last they knew,  Manuel Cavasos was still in the ICU with a bullet lodged in his side. They also tell FOX 17 he had five ribs broken, and possible damage to his lung from a bullet.

“At the end of  the day, I don’t feel like he deserved to be shot,”  Abraham Cavasos said.

When asked about the family’s concerns, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office referred FOX 17 to the hospital, which hasn’t responded to requests for comment at this time.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

No officers were hurt in Monday’s incident.