Municipal police are responsible for the shooting death of a 22-year-old actor in México state on Friday, claim the man’s father and thousands of social media users.
According to the México state Attorney General’s Office (FGJ), Octavio Ocaña – best known for his role as Benito in the television series Vecinos (Neighbors) – accidentally shot himself after losing control of his SUV while being pursued by Cautitlán Izcalli municipal police in Atizapán de Zaragoza, a municipality located north of Mexico City.
Cautitlán Izcalli police had ordered Ocaña to stop but he accelerated instead, precipitating a high-speed chase that continued into Atizapán. According to the FGJ, Ocaña accidentally shot himself in the head as he crashed into a retaining wall.
“As a result of the dynamic of this accident the driver presumably set off the firearm he was carrying in his right hand,” it said in a statement, adding that he was shot at close range.
Ocaña was still alive when police reached his vehicle, in which two other men were traveling, but died after arriving at a hospital in the México state municipality of Naucalpan.
The two passengers allegedly told investigators that the actor removed his gun from the vehicle’s glove compartment when the chase began.
The FGJ said results of toxicology tests showed that Ocaña was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. An empty tequila bottle and empty beer cans were found in the actor’s vehicle and the man traveling in the front passenger seat told investigators they had been drinking, according to the FGJ.
In an interview, Ocaña’s father said the gun found in his son’s car belonged to him but claimed that it wasn’t the weapon that shot him.
“The police killed Octavio Ocaña,” Octavio Pérez said, asserting that the bullet wound his son sustained was not consistent with the caliber of his firearm.
He said Ocaña had a Defense Ministry license for his gun and carried it due to the high levels of insecurity in Mexico. Pérez also challenged the FGE’s claim that his son was under the influence of marijuana.
“My son didn’t smoke marijuana, my son wasn’t an alcoholic that drank for two days straight because he had responsibility. I’m a businessman [in Tabasco] and he was in Mexico City taking care of my company there,” he told a YouTube program hosted by television presenter Gustavo Adolfo Infante.
Pérez said his son’s death had “destroyed” him but vowed to fight for the truth and until all those responsible are in prison.
Using photos and videos of the car chase and crash to back up their claims, thousands of social media users also blamed municipal police for Ocaña’s death.
Twitter and Facebook users said the weapon with which the actor allegedly shot himself could have been planted in the vehicle by police. They also shared images of a Cautitlán Izcalli police vehicle with a dent in its front to support a claim that it rammed into the back of Ocaña’s SUV, causing it to crash. Social media users also shared video footage that allegedly shows police beating the two other men who were in the vehicle.
In addition, a video posted to social media allegedly shows police offers in civilian clothing at the scene of the crash on Sunday.
“What do they want to erase?” one Twitter user asked.
Diego Enrique Osorno, a journalist, asserted that the FGE’s version of events “is one of the stupidest false reports in the recent history of official criminal cover-ups.”
“The setup is clear,” said Facebook user Cesar Portillo Arias in a post below the FGE’s statement. “Too bad that the Attorney General’s Office continues to lend itself to these kinds of violations of the rule of law.”