Update: Overnight shooting leaves one man dead in Tyler

TYLER (KYTX) - A Tyler man was shot and killed by a police officer just minutes after the start of the new year.

Tyler police say they got a call about gunshots coming from a house in the 600 block of Queen Street in North Tyler shortly after midnight.

Police say 22-year-old Victor Fuentes would probably still be alive tonight if he hadn't pointed his gun at one of the responding officers.

Police say Officer Matt Riggle told Fuentes repeatedly to put down his gun.

When he refused, police say Officer Riggle felt threatened.

That's when he fired multiple shots at Fuentes and killed him.

"I was asleep and I heard, what I thought was fireworks. It was really, really fast, like they had some streamers going off real strong."

But Tyler police say the noise that woke up neighbors on Queen Street New Year's Eve did not come from fireworks, but something much more dangerous.

Tyler police say the three responding officers pinpointed the shots to 603 Queen Street when they saw a muzzle blast up in the air.

Police say as the officers got closer, they saw 22-year-old Victor Fuentes with a handgun.

Officer Don Martin says Fuentes ran back into this house with his gun when he spotted police.

"One officer told him to drop his gun. He did not drop his gun. The officer, again, demanded for him to drop his gun."

That officer is Matt Riggle, a four-year veteran with Tyler Police.

"The weapon was aimed at the officer. So, he fired at him. Several rounds were fired and he was killed."

Officer Martin says Fuentes had his gun pointed at Officer Riggle but never fired at him. All the shots were fired up into the air.

Officer Martin says more than 50 rounds were fired at the house before police arrived, something he says is common in this neighborhood on New Year's Eve.

"That's something that, one, is against the law. It's discharging a firearm in city limits, disorderly conduct. It's very dangerous. You know, what goes up, must come down. We discourage it every year, kind of telling them not to do this."

Officer Martin says there were other people in the home New Year's Eve, but no one else was injured.

Along with shell casings, Officer Martin says they found alcohol and gang-related evidence inside the house.

"We do believe that there was some gang affiliation with the suspect that was killed."

Neighbor Ricky Baggett says the shooting doesn't surprise him.

"It's not that great of a neighborhood. My mother was told when she moved here, 'never leave the doors unlocked.' So, apparently, they've had more trouble over here."

Although Officer Martin says Fuentes appeared to be in a gang, he had no criminal history in Smith County, just traffic violations.

As for Officer Matt Riggle, he's been placed on paid administrative leave from the Tyler Police Department. 

A judge has ordered an autopsy for Fuentes in Dallas.

Tyler Police and the Texas Rangers are still investigating.


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