The police officer responsible for fatally shooting Philando Castile, a black man, in his car on Wednesday outside of Falcon Heights, Minnesota has been identified as Jeronimo Yanez by state officials.
Yanez was named by a state agency investigating the shooting of Castile, along with his partner Joseph Kauser. Both men have been with the St. Anthony’s police department for roughly four years, and have since been put on administrative leave only a day after the incident took place.
During their statement, officials summarized the events that lead up to the shooting: that after stopping Castile for a broken tail light, Yanez “discharged his weapon, striking Castile multiple times,” while Castile reached for his driver’s license. Before attempting to do so, he informed Yanez that he had a firearm in the car—a firearm he was licensed to carry.
The state agency also stated that a gun was found at the scene.
The identification of Yanez occurred the same day Minnesota governor Mark Dayton proclaimed that Castile would not have been shot if he were white, citing that both racial profiling and racism exist, and that the actions of Yanez and Kauser—notably Yanez in particular—were “beyond the pale.”
“Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota…for a taillight being out of function,” the governor said. “Nobody should be shot and killed while seated still in their car. I’m heartbroken.”
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