Aggravated robbery suspect Charles D. Welborn was shot three times by a San Angelo police officer Monday afternoon in the North San Angelo Wal-Mart parking lot.
According to police, Welborn lunged at the officer with a broken bottle. Just a few minutes before that, police said Welborn broke into a display case inside the store and took a rife. After Welborn was shot, he was taken to Shannon Medical Center.
"This is a traumatic event for our community. You know, when something like this happens. It's crazy that something like this would happen," said SAPD Chief Tim Vasquez. "But, it does and -at the very least- our citizens know we've got a good department."
Chief Vasquez said officers are trained to react to different emergency situations.
"That decision was created by the suspect. It's a response to a resistance and that's how you're trained to respond to these situations," said Vasquez.
In this case, the officer had just a few seconds to decide whether to shoot his gun instead of using a taser.
"I've seen the question posted, 'why wasn't a taser used?' A taser is only effective within a certain amount of feet. This happened within a matter of seconds and there was no way that I think...at this particular situation that a taser would have been used," explained Vasquez.
In the past four-years, Vasquez said his department has had three officer-involved shootings. He said anytime one of his officers is involved in a shooting, the officer is required to have three days of administrative leave with pay.