PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Relatives of an unarmed 30-year-old man who was shot and killed by Phoenix police are now pursing legal action.

According to Phoenix police, officers tried to detain Henry Wayne Rivera on Wednesday because he matched the description of a man suspected of shooting three people and kidnapping a woman. Police later arrested 27-year-old Eddison Noyola for that crime spree.

Rivera had outstanding warrants for trespassing and skipping court, according to public records. When officers tried to confront him, he jumped out of a motel room window and ran.

His girlfriend, Natalie Mejia, and their 4-month-old baby were in the motel room.

“[The officers] showed me a picture when they opened the door and said, ‘Is this him?’ I said no and I showed them my phone. I showed them his picture -- ‘this is him,’” she said. “Right away, I said he has no guns. There are no guns in the room. Right away, like right away, before I heard the shots. Before I heard the ambulance. Before all that.”

[RELATED: Police shoot, kill unarmed man near state Capitol]

After jumping out of the motel window near 20th Avenue and Van Buren Street, police said Rivera ran through several yards and jumped over fences. He then ran to an automobile business near 19th Avenue and Monroe Street and took a vehicle, officers said.

Rivera stopped the vehicle on Monroe Street and officers moved in. As he got out of the car, police say Rivera did not follow commands and two officers opened fire.

“Regardless of him running, that doesn't mean that a cop could sit there and shoot him and take his life over a mistaken identity,” said Rivera’s step-daughter Alicia Gallo.

Mejia said Rivera was a good father who was never violent with her or her kids. She acknowledged he had a deep mistrust of the police and a tough upbringing.

“He was a good man. He didn't deserve to die regardless if he had a warrant. His warrants were never violent,” Mejia said.

In addition to the felony warrants for trespassing and skipping court, public records show Rivera was charged in 2018 with third degree burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft.

Rivera was originally from Blythe, CA and had only been in the Valley for a few months, according to relatives. Family members said he was well-liked for his sense of humor and strong singing voice, and was working to turn his life around.

“My whole family is torn. Everybody. Even the hometown [of Blythe],” said Gallo, who started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses. “It really affects everybody.”

 


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(55) comments

Jaymax16

And another thing not every criminals are the freakin same they are as human as we are and most of them do have a freakin big heart and made mistakes and regret it every one is not perfect just because some of u wanna sit behind ur device judging somebody because of they're back grounds your wrong you wouldn't like it God himself will judge u right I wouldn't

Jaymax16

It don't matter if u have warrants but that doesn't give no police the rights to shoot somebody who isn't armed where in the law book say yes police man shoot the man who had warrants and running from yeah go ahead shoot him WTH is this world is coming too do u not know WTH ur talking about just because he ran and have warrants doesn't give no rights for a police to shoot him period if there's a book that shows that law then let us see it give us the law of what not to do I could imagine if it was a kid doing what Henry did because he stole or whatever what it give the rights for a police to shoot him too? It's ridiculous running and have warrants and get killed by a officer the messed up part how in the world u get him confused for another person it's only obvious how different he looks for the real suspect duh R.I.P Henry

Ihatepolitics

The cops assumed the man they were chasing was the outstanding shooting suspect. They were wrong. They also did not attempt to use non-lethal force. Escalation of force protocols would require this, but they will probably claim they thought he suspect was armed and about to shoot someone else and this will be over with that Arizona law being what it is. The suspect they were chasing should not have run. Let the courts decide.

trsalemme

By "Arizona Law", if you are implying your comment about "thought the suspect was armed", you are incorrect. Its pretty much a law EVERYWHERE there is law enforcement. Less of a law...more of a legal guideline. And it states that if your life , or the lives of others, are in imminent danger, you can use deadly force. Even if he is running away. If he hasn't already shot someone, and I cant see a weapoin, and hes not in the process of shooting me or someone else, then I would never think of shooting while he is running away. That's just my opinion, based on ALL of MY LEO training.

Xochiquetzal805

I agree we all know the process do ur time n be alive

Jack916

I am a republican and business owner. I have known henry for over 20 years!! He was a good friend. Yea we all have a past our was not easy! We are brown americans!! We all make mistakes some grow from them. This cop gets paid to not make mistakes!! He was negligent on his duty as an officer! He reacted in a manor not police like! He clearly seen henry didnt have a gun. Only he shot his gun and killed henry. Other cops knew not too. Period he killed an unarmed american! Americans want justice for a mr
Murdered american. Fleeing unarmed does not give law enforcement the right to kill! They train too wound and if necessarysgoot to kill

Dean

So you are a good friend of a criminal? Hmm. Does not say much for your character. So what if he did not have a gun? He was running from the police.

JustinP

Dean, show me the law where it says cops can shoot anyone fleeing. You can't. Now, if he was a threat to someone's life, then they can. I don't know what happened. I hope the system finds out. And if the cop was partially wrong, then held accountable and fired. If fully wrong, then tried for murder, if not wrong, then exonerated. It's really not that hard for rational people with facts to make this decision. Let's let them make it.

Xochiquetzal805

O though he was o car so how were they gonna see if he did or didn't

AZ Native

Plain and simple, he shouldn't have run. Face up to the facts like a man instead of running like a coward. Running only proved he had something to hide. He's to blame for his own death.

Adrianna1996

Its disgusting how you guys can say if he wouldn't have ran he would of never got shot so you guys are saying for anybody that runs its okay for an officer to shoot you guys are crazy and out of your minds he can resist all he wants that doesn't give a right to shoot if it was any of your guyses family member that this happened to you would not be saying this you people are just disgusting and ignorant PERIOD JUSTICE FOR HENRY SO SAD PHOENIX POLICE WILL BE SUED I PROMISE YOU THAT

Xochiquetzal805

That is sad but he had a stolen car warrants n tea one of my friends n family could have bden on the road then what if henry killed them what would u say ... yea alit of innocent people lives were out that day

ObeyLaws

I forget, did I mention to say ALWAYS COMPLY WITH POLICE OFFICERS?? It's not rocket science.

Jack916

Yes you are right! Law doesnt give them the right to shoot unarmed ppl. They can clearly tell he wasnt the suspect no facial tattoos not even neck tattoos. Again even if you dont comply cops have to handle the non lethal situation non lethal! They train regularly so they are at fault for killing a unarmed mistaken identity! Which they admit to making which means that was the first sign of wrong doing in this case. Two the girlfriend said who he was they still want to question ppl who clearly dont fit the discription! I went to school for criminal justice! This family has a very sttong case!!!! Unarmed is winnable

Mistery88

Aliciag how blind are you??? You keep saying none of it would have happened if he wasn't being chased... Well Why was he being chased? Why was he running? Why didnt he just sit in his motel room and sort it all out? No he played a dumb game and jumped out the window, ran through yards and then stole a car....

Aliciag

HE HAD A WARRANT DUMMY THATS WHY HE RAN STUPID! IT DON'T MATTER WHY TF HE RAN. HE WAS UNARMED DUMMY

BigkOuntry

Don’t run from cops if you have a warrant that’s bad news already. Sorry this happend to your loved one but your going about this the wrong way.

Xochiquetzal805

[thumbup]

Aliciag

YOUR THE BLIND ONE. DONT EVEN KNOW WTF YOUR TALKING ABOUT

Wazoolie

Turn yourself in for your warrant....’stupidity in the 1st degree ‘.

BigkOuntry

I agree! Why didn’t the young gentleman just let the officers know that he wasn’t the man they were looking for. Yes he didn’t have warrants and he didn’t want the police to know but you still have to comply with the officers. I see it as this, they were looking for a armed and dangerous criminal & this guy jumps out of a window running from officers, seems pretty suspect to me. Now the family planning legal action, I don’t think they will ever see a penny. Those officers handle that situation good.

Xochiquetzal805

[thumbup]

Dean

"Rivera had outstanding warrants for trespassing and skipping court..." Had he not run he would not have been shot you idiots. Most likely a family here illegally to begin with so think that breaking the US laws is perfectly fine.

Aliciag

Actually here legally dummy . IF YOU DONT KNOW THE FAMILY THEN STFU BEFORE STATING RACIST COMMENTS

Dean

Nothing racist by me. I do not care where an illegal is from, illegal is illegal. You are the racist for saying I am.

Xochiquetzal805

See we can see u have a degree in the hood... even hood people have more respect you just ghetto

Aliciag

All of a sudden body cams dont work. Of course. #justice4henry

AZ Native

All of a sudden you are wanting a nice tidy sum of money for this criminal. He messed up and paid the ultimate price instead of coming clean.

ArizonaG30

Boy. the two ambulance chasing lawyers were right on top of this. They must read 3TV every morning to see if there's any "Officer shootings" How come they're always "good boys"?

ObeyLaws

Another fool who would be alive today had he COMPLIED WITH OFFICERS. ALWAYS COMPLY WITH OFFICERS. Everything else can be worked out later. Did I mention that you should ALWAYS comply with officers??

LizardMan

Unless they can prove you are doing sonething wrong, you do not have to comply. They outright murdered the man for being Latino.

JustinP

First statement not true. Second statement most likely false as well. Whether he was shot rightfully or wrongfully the courts can decide.

JustinP

my comment directed at Lizard, not ObeyLaws

nevereasy

sounds like a super high adrenalin situation and the cops may have screwed this one up...the bodycam footage will tell the story...Alicia is correct,these cops cannot shoot and kill unarmed subjects...The family has a wrongful death case here minimum,that will settle out of court for millions

RCamou69

Their body cams just happend not to be on cause they were not working is what they said

Aliciag

Thank you . none of the running or taking a car would have happened of he wasn't being chased. He had warrants that's why he ran.

JustinP

Guy running around like a maniac and drives away. The family has nothing as guy was breaking the law. Cops may be held liable for shooting but not chasing.

RCamou69

First of all that criminal has a name it's HENRY & just because he didnt follow their commands does not give them the right to shoot an unarmed man you've got someone with 25 yrs experience n 15 yrs experience they could've done things differently why not shoot him in the arm or leg why open fire on him like that & they to go on the news & be like (in so many words) ooops our bad wrong guy what they did was wrong & unless you know the man i would greatly appreciate it if you would leave your sarcastic remarks out of your comments how can a person bad mouth another person not knowing anything about them im just saying [angry]

ObeyLaws

Are people really still so ignorant to think police officers can accurately shoot someone in the arm or leg??? Educate yourself before you post stupid comments and look foolish.

trsalemme

I have been at odds agreeing with some of your other posts, but this one I agree with 100%;. Police are trained to shoot center mass...what most of these people who post online don't know, is that during a high stress situation, you lose most of your fine motor skills. That is why we are trained to shoot center mass...there is no such thing as shooting an arm or a leg. Statements like that are born out of pure stupidity and ignorance. NOW, at the same time..i am always willing to concede when its needed. And in this case, it APPEARS to be a bad shoot. If the guy had been trying to run the police over, or something like that, that would have been different....but in the absence of any type of weapon being displayed...sounds like a BIG mistake was made

nuusmaan

We are trained....ha ha. Yep.

JustinP

Agree with you based on evidence so far. Chasing guy is not the problem. Shooting may have been. As for the family, guy was not following law so you should get NOTHING (except perhaps burial costs if cops found wrong).

trsalemme

Yeah Nuusman...WE. Unlike you, I have 7 years of state law enforcement, and currently 4 years of federal law enforcement under my belt. Lets not forget my 18 years of military service. So yeah. I kinda know what im talking about...

Aliciag

I appreciate the support❤

Dean

He was running from the police ergo was guilty of breaking the law and the police have every right to stop him before he does more harm. Good for the police.

JustinP

Stop? Yes. Shoot to kill? Let's have an investigation. Family have right to sue? NO!!!!!!! Since guy was breaking law while it happened.

Xochiquetzal805

*law

Xochiquetzal805

He did break the lae while running

DeanD

If this criminal had followed the police officers' commands, he'd still be alive. According to the article, he ran through several yards and 'took' a car from an automobile business. Sounds like grand theft to me. But hey, they say he was trying to turn his life around...by doing the same criminal things. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Aliciag

Im so sick of people like you. None of that would have happened IF HE WASNT BEING CHASED dummy
If you don't know him KEEP HIM OUT YOUR MOUTH.

JustinP

It wouldn't have happened if he hadn't ran. Dominos fall, but the first one was his running. I do hope that if this was an illegal act by the police the cops who did it are held liable. Liable for criminal as well as possible civil issues. But the taxpayers of Phx should not get soaked because some guy broke the law by running and not complying. Individual officers? Perhaps. Let's see what the investigation yields. I'm sorry for your loss.

Xochiquetzal805

Yup

Xochiquetzal805

So you were there to see everything i assume dince we dont know

Xochiquetzal805

*since

Careman

When the bullets hit it's too late.

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