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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Opening statements are set to begin Thursday afternoon for the trial of an Austin police officer accused of murder in a 2020 deadly shooting, according to attorneys familiar with the case.
Christopher Taylor, 31, shot and killed Mike Ramos on April 24, 2020. Officers responded to an apartment complex on South Pleasant Valley Road after a 911 call reported someone dealing drugs in a car. According to previous reports from APD, the caller also stated the man had a gun.
Police told Ramos to get out of the car when they got to the scene. Ramos did, and the situation escalated from there, resulting in an officer hitting Ramos with a non-lethal bean bag round.
Body camera video shows Ramos get back into the car after that and shut the door. He then tried to drive away from the parking spot, and you can hear three gunshots.
APD said Officer Taylor fired those shots.
In 2021, a Travis County grand jury returned an indictment for Taylor. This was shortly after District Attorney Jose Garza took office, who campaigned on a platform of police accountability.
Former Travis County prosecutor Gary Cobb has come out of retirement to try this case.
In December 2020, Ramos’ mother Brenda filed a civil lawsuit against Taylor and the City of Austin, claiming Taylor shot Michael without justification. According to Rebecca Webber, one of Brenda’s attorneys, the suit is on hold until Taylor’s criminal case resolves.
In July 2019, Taylor was accused of shooting and killing 46-year-old Mauris Nishanga DeSilva in downtown Austin during a check welfare call. In addition to a murder charge, he also faces a charge of deadly conduct for the discharge of a firearm related to the 2019 incident. That case is still going through the court process.
KXAN will update this story throughout the afternoon’s court proceedings.