AUSTIN (KXAN) — On April 6, 2012, at 2:30 a.m., Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron responded to a WalMart store in north Austin to investigate a call about an intoxicated man who was shoplifting. When Officer Padron arrived and approached the suspect, Brandon Daniel, he tried to run out of the store.
Padron, 40, tackled Daniel to the ground. During the struggle, Daniel pulled a handgun out of his pocket and shot Officer Padron in the neck, killing him.
Padron was a retired U.S. Marine and a father of two young girls, ages 6 and 10 at the time of his death.
“Our city and our community will stand with this family and we’ll make sure those two little girls who just lost their father tonight, through no fault of his own, that they are raised the way they need to be raised and their needs will be met,” said then-Chief of Police Art Acevedo.
“Two beautiful, young daughters won’t have a father to raise them, and that’s a tragedy.”
“Two beautiful, young daughters won’t have a father to raise them, and that’s a tragedy,” said retired APD Det. Mike Sheffield.
Thousands of mourners lined the streets during a procession transporting Padron’s body from Austin to San Angelo, Texas.
During an interview with Austin police after the shooting, Daniel, who was 24 years old at the time, admitted he had been depressed after a recent break-up with a girlfriend and was taking the prescription medication, Xanax. His attorneys later said he struggled with mental illness and public records show he had previously been arrested for minor crimes, including drug possession, driving while intoxicated and evading.
Daniel was convicted of capital murder in Travis County and sentenced to death in 2014. He later tried to dismiss his attorneys and speed up his execution, before changing his mind and continuing his appeals. He is awaiting an execution date.
Fallen examines the role mental health played leading to officers’ murders and the necessary solutions that could prevent future deaths.