Thursday, November 20, 2008

More On The El Paso Police Pinata

The El Paso Police Pinata thread has received a lot of attention for some reason. I only posted four photographs as I am not a gore merchant. I am a retired police officer and a certified evidence technician - I processed crime scenes for seven years. I'll go into some more detail now as I believe it is warranted, particularly from some of the reponse from and XD Talk (hi guys!).

There are twelve crime scene pictures that my brother sent me. I will now include all of them and comment where I see something relevant.
Photo #1
The first four photographs are the only ones that show the placement of a single helmet. From his proximity to the suspect closest to the plainclothes officer (we'll call him Officer #1 and the suspect is Suspect #1) and the helmet. He appears to have lost consciousness or has expired. If you look closely at the rearmost suspect (farthest away from the police officer, we'll tag him Suspect #3) you will see a very small object near his right knee. When blown up, it resembles a cartridge casing. While onlookers appear to keep their distance, there is no real attempt to secure the scene. It is a cloudy day and thus no sharp shadows; however, look at the apparent shadow thrown by the white pick up truck bed, the helmet and the officer's feet. It appears to be a very short shadow so it may be that these photos were taken around noon time.

You will also notice something in this and in all the other photos that is conspicuous by its absense - there are no emergency medical workers in attendence. The motorcycle cop in the back (if that's what he is - he's wearing a helmet) we'll call Officer #2. There appears to be another officer (dark pants and dark t-shirt) next to the motorcycle cop, we'll call him Officer #3 because it seems that he is wearing some kind of equipment around his waist. Next to Officer #3 is a man in a white t-shirt. Behind him is a man dressed in matching blue pants and shirt and he has something shiny on his belt. We'll call him Officer #4.

The suspect in the middle, Suspect #2, apparently has a gunshot wound to his left arm and is lying on his right side.

There appears to be a line of some kind of cobblestone to the right of the suspects' motorcycle. It could be a false curb marking where parking is allowed.

Photo #2

This photograph is taken from the same aspect. Suspect #2, the one still alive, has moved and Suspect #1 has been rolled on his back. Suspect #1 also has his left leg splayed out away from the motorcycle and his right arm has moved lower to his body, away from Officer #1. To the left of Suspect #2 is another police officer wearing mustard colored shorts and carrying handcuffs. We'll tag him as Officer #5. Behind Officer #5 is a man wearing a white long sleeved shirt and blue with some kind of identication tag around his neck. I will not tag him as a cop right now.

Next to Officer #2 (motorcycle cop) is a man with a big gut wearing a horizontally striped shirt and blue shorts. To the right of him is a man wearing a striped shirt and jeans. It looks like he is holding a cell phone and there is something in his right hand. Look above his right hand; apparently he is wearing a holster as his shirt is bloused out over it. Tag him Officer #6.

Look at Suspect #1's right thigh. There is a blood stain on his pants but no blood underneath his leg. This smear was caused by someone dragging Suspect #2 over his leg. This action probably caused the movement of Suspect#1 as detailed in the above paragraph. I will blame Officer #5 for this as he looks like a chump. He may be considering whether or not it is necessary to 'cuff Suspect #2.

Suspect#3 has not moved. There is still a small object near his right knee. You can now see the motorcycle on the right side of the photo. There is a small object on the lane paint stripe just to the left of the motorcycle's rear tire. Perhaps it is a lane reflector. Officer #3 is talking on a cell phone and seems to have his right hand on his holster.

The suspects' motorcycle still has its headlight on. There doesn't appear to be any spilled gas on the road.

Photo #3

Officer #1 has moved to the left side of the photograph. He is still holding his pistol. Officer #3 appears to be motioning for people to stay away from the scene, you can see the holster on his right thigh more clearly now. The motorcyle cop hasn't budged, perhaps he is posing. Mustard shorts is out of the picture as well as the guy with the big gut.

Photo #4
The photographer has moved behind the cobblestone line. Officer #1 is still holding his pistol and he is dancing over the stream of blood. The suspect's headlight is still on. Suspect #2 has his head up from the pavement. Either he is waiting to see if the cops are going to kill him outright or someone is talking to him. He is not using his arms to support himself. He may also have a chest wound, but since he was originally laying on his right side, the blood on his t-shirt could be from the gunshot wound to his arm.

There is a mark on the side of the suspects' motorcycle gas tank shroud. I can't tell if it is a bullethole, the headlight is still on.

Suspect #1 looks like he has bled out. I have seen far, far more blood than that on a bleed out. Suspect #3 still has his head up. There may be blood on the right side of the black full cover helmet. I call Suspect #1 as the driver as I think he was wearing the helmet. There is blood on his right hand corresponding to the blood on the helmet.

Photo #5
Still not sure about that round mark on the tank shroud. Suspect#3 appears to have some blood under his head, he is clutching a baseball cap in his left hand - obviously he wasn't wearing the helmet. That small object is still near his right knee. The motorcycle cop still hasn't moved. He is the only one with shiny shoes. Suspect #3 now has his head down, right side towards the pavement.
Photo #6
Suspect #3 moved his head to the other side. Officer #1 still has his pistol in his hand. The motorcycle cop has moved ever so slightly away from his two wheeler. The suspects' motorcycle's drive chain needs a good lube. That object near Suspect #3's knee is still there.

Photo #7
Officer #1 has had his pistol surgically attached to his hand. The cop expects Suspect #2 to jump up at any time and assault him, possibly with deadly shards of bone from his left arm. This and the next photograph show how badly that arm has been hit.

Photo #8

Officer #1 may be questioning Suspect #2. Still no medical personnel on the scene, but these photos could have been taken within five minutes or less. In a third world city it probably is unfair to expect an ambulance within minutes.

Photo #9

There is a black line just above Officer #1's belt. It may be a holster. Officer #1 is either going to holster his pistol or is preparing to shoot and then urinate on Suspect #2. The man in the background wearing jeans and a gray shirt looks like he is taking a picture.

Photo #10The pistol is now holstered and Suspect #2 can't believe that he hasn't been shot or pissed on. It looks like someone wearing uniform shoes is squatting just to his right,

Photo #11It does not look like Suspect #1 took a GSW to the chest. Perhaps a gut shot severed a major artery.

Photo #12

Last photo. I can't tell if this was a police photographer taking these shots or not. If it was, he is not very good.

It seems like the photographer tried to capture the scene from all four sides (that is an absolute minimum - I would go through a dozen rolls easy at a scene like this), but he missed shooting from the side of the road where the police motorcycle was parked, or else those photos were not included in the original emails.


Anonymous said...

I'm convinced these pics were taken in Brazil. In a couple of the shots a company name "Gravia" ( is clearly visible. Gravia manufactures windows and doors and does industrial construction in Brazil. They do not have a location in the US. Also, a closer inspection of the weapon reveals that it looks a LOT like a Beretta. The El Paso PD is issued the Glock 22. There is NO mistaking a Glock for a Beretta.

sig94 said...

No question it is not the El Paso PD. I think it happened in the Philipines as per the prior post.

J said...

Yup, it's Brazil. Gravia's 4 stores are in Brazil and green phone booth in the same pic is Brazil's trademark.

Anonymous said...

Reading all other comments of course this in no way is El Paso PD, nor is it in the United States for that matter, look at all the license plates where possible, i live here in El Paso, my father is retired PD and i know from always looking at his badge an uniform that in no way is the plain clothes cop wearing a EPPD badge, and the motorcycle officer in photo #2 has a uniform and patch that is no way related to our attire, it upsets me in a way that people get this confused with EPPD...

sig94 said...

That's the point I made in the original post on Nov 12, 2008. I could not believe that anything like this could happen in the US without it being splashed all over the media outlets.

I have no idea how the EEPD got dragged into this. I was not trying to get mileage out of a story impugning the EPPD.

I wrote this:

"UPDATE: I have tried to find mention of this story somewhere, anywhere in a newspaper, snopes, or other media offering other than a blog and have not been successful. I find it unbelieveable that a cop could off three armed perps in this country and not have it splayed all over the place.

I did find a story from Cebu City, Philipines, where three armed men were shot to death on an overloaded motorcycle. Apparently they also were not wearing helmets. They apparently were suspects in an armed robbery and refused to stop for a police road block on or about 2 NOV 08 as reported here.

Anonymous said...

There are just too many people around on the Internet who like to spice up stories or who just make things up as hoaxes.

Nice site, by the way.

Anonymous said...

If there was a better shot of the license plates, question of where this is would be solved.

Anonymous said...

Photo #9: Gravia is a Brazilian company and below the Gravia sign is a "proibido estacionamento" (=no parking) sign. Definitely Brazil.

Esteban Brenes said...

It does seem like it's in Brazil, as the no parking sign (by the Gravia store) is also common in Brazil ( The shooting of criminals there would not cause as much media attention as it would in the states.