Former Pasadena cop charged with shooting unarmed man in 2021

According to the civil rights lawsuit, Randy Aviles was shot three times after officer Rigoberto Saldívar stopped him for running a red light.

PASADENA, Texas. A former Pasadena cop is charged with aggravated assault after he shot an unarmed man three times in 2021.

Rigoberto Saldívar stopped Randy Aviles at Red Bluff Road near Spencer Highway after he ran a red light on January 12, 2021. Aviles, now 37, survived and filed a civil rights lawsuit against Saldivar and the city of Pasadena last October.

After an investigation carried out Pasadena Police Department The Department of Internal Affairs and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office referred the case to a grand jury.

They charged Saldivar Wednesday with one count of aggravated assault by a government official.

The 20-year-old veteran also shot and killed an unarmed man in 2018, but was never punished or charged, according to the lawsuit.

Saldívar was allowed to step down in July 2021 before the investigation into the Aviles shooting was completed.

Randy Aviles case

The lawsuit does not dispute that Aviles ran a red light, but does say that he immediately stopped on a side street and got out of the car with both hands raised.

Saldívar pointed a gun at Aviles and yelled, “Don’t you dare move, don’t you dare move,” the lawsuit says. He ordered Aviles to get back into the car and put his hands out of the car. which he did.

“Despite the fact that Mr. Aviles actually complies by raising his hands up and verbally informing him of his intention to comply, Defendant Saldívar escalates the situation by yelling, “I will shoot you,” the lawsuit says. He then “begins to aggressively move towards Mr. Aviles, pointing his gun at Mr. Aviles”.

Aviles said that at that moment he feared for his life, so he started to drive away with his hands up, and that’s when Saldívar shot him.

Lawyers for Aviles said he suffered “serious and permanent injuries” to his arm, requiring a skin graft, two metal plates in 15 screws. According to the lawsuit, he also suffered emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress.

2018 case

The lawsuit states that Saldívar also shot and killed an unarmed man in November 2018. The 25-year-old was shot twice, according to the lawsuit, and the lead detective who investigated the shooting determined it was unfounded and unconstitutional.

Saldívar was never punished, instead receiving a pay raise.

“The City of Pasadena’s decision not to train, supervise, or punish the defendant Officer Saldivar is consistent with their custom and practice of protecting officers who unconstitutionally use excessive force,” the lawsuit says.

Pasadena police said they would not comment further due to the upcoming trial.

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