APD releases body camera video of man killed by police in South Austin

Austin police released body camera video, Ring camera video, and the 911 call of an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead in South Austin.

Rajan Moonesinghe was shot to death outside his home on South 3rd Street near Oltorf just after midnight on Nov. 15.

“He almost seems to be scared of something inside his home,” the 911 caller said. Later in the call, the caller said, “…approached me earlier today saying he saw two suspicious people earlier.”

Family members and friends of a man shot to death by an Austin police officer are pushing for answers.

Ring video shows Moonesinghe outside his house with a rifle. He points it towards his house and says, “you want this?” A few seconds later, he fires a shot at his home, and a police car pulls up. He fires again.

An officer arrives. He yells, “drop the gun,” and fires multiple times. On the Ring video, Moonesinghe can be heard saying, “it wasn’t me.”

The officer said, “show us your hands, do it now.” Moonesinghe says again, “it wasn’t me.”

The other officers on scene meet up with the officer, then move forward to help Moonesinghe. He later died at a hospital.

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Family members shared their reaction to his death. His uncle, Keith Ranga, spoke to FOX 7 from California.

“I just want to tell the whole world that this kid is an innocent kid. So down-to-earth, very gentle,” he said. “I can’t believe he’s gone. I can’t believe this had happened. He got a shot for nothing.”

Ranga says Moonesinghe was the youngest of three brothers, and says he was a good person.

“We have never heard anything bad about him or arrogant. They are very well-behaved kids. This is unnecessary. We are all, like frozen, you know, we are in a shock. What happened?” he said. “This is ridiculous. This is shocking. And I think anybody with power has to be a little more responsible because every human being is not a bad person because they carry a gun and come out or whatever, you know?”

The officer who shot Moonesinghe was placed on administrative leave. There will be both a criminal and an administrative investigation.

Johann Moonesinghe, Rajan’s brother, released the following statement:

“Yesterday, I had the opportunity to view the police footage and security footage of the last minutes of my brother’s life. As difficult as that was, it was an incredibly important step towards finding out the truth of the events leading up to his murder by police on November 15, 2022. The video clearly shows that Raj never threatened the officers, he didn’t even know they were there. I’d encourage everyone to watch the videos being released today to make their own judgments. Thank goodness Raj had his Ring security camera on his porch because, without it, the police would have continued to lie about what happened that night.

After watching the video, it is evident that the officer who shot Raj did this without identifying himself, without thinking, and before giving my brother a chance to explain who he was and why he was outside. Instead, he arrived without flashing lights or sirens, pulled out an assault rifle, took a hidden defensive position behind a fence 25 yards away, and killed my brother. He began firing before finishing his command to ‘drop your gun’ and continued to fire once Raj had dropped his gun and put his hands up, and continued to fire once Raj had dropped his gun and put his hands up. It’s clear from the security footage that Raj didn’t even know the police officer was there. His last words as he lay on the ground were ‘it wasn’t me.’

Instead of getting justice for Raj, the Austin Police Department continues with its attempts to cover up what happened. The security footage they released today is an edited version that intentionally removes the interaction that Raj had with his neighbor one-minute beforehand where he told her there was someone in his house and yelled into his home, ‘I’m calling the police, get out of my house.’

It is beyond comprehension that the police acted this way. The police knew he was the home owner concerned with a potential intruder. They shot first and asked questions later. As an Austinite myself, I’m outraged to think that these are the people tasked with protecting our community.

Raj was a loving son who took care of our parents financially and the co-founder of a very successful tech company which we moved to Austin in 2018. We ask the City and the District Attorney to do their jobs and hold the officer accountable. Otherwise, these senseless shootings will continue, and more innocent people will be shot and killed by Austin police officers.”

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