Updated: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 5:47 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 1:44 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin City Council approved a $1 million settlement Thursday in the officer-involved shooting death of Daniel Rocha, 18, during a traffic stop in 2005.
Interviews during the incident were released to the media in December 2005, shedding light on the events that unraveled fatal night. They also provided details that then-Chief Stan Knee used in deciding to fire former Austin Police Department Officer Julie Schroeder, who fired the fatal shot into Rocha's back. An arbitrator upheld Knee's decision.
Among the tapes was a surveillance video from five days before Rocha's death that shows him stealing a woman's purse at a McDonald's. At the time, cops were on the lookout for him.
On June 10, the day after she shot Rocha, Schroeder told homicide detectives what happened when she stopped Rocha and his friends at Pleasant Valley Drive and Quicksilver Boulevard.
"I was in fear. Here was this kid fighting so hard," Schroeder said at the time on one of the interview tapes. "He had overpowered both of us, starting from inside a car."
Richard Ulfeng, who was in the car with Rocha that night and fled the scene, told homicide detectives he and his friends had been smoking pot minutes before and had just done a drug deal. When Schroeder and her police partner stopped them, the trio panicked.
"I immediately opened the door and ran out," Ulfeng said. "I remember looking back and seeing Daniel's face looking at me. I heard a gunshot."
Driver Donny Hernandez also told his story in one of the tapes.
"She told me to get out of the car," Hernandez said. "I asked, 'Should I put it in park?' When I did, that's when I heard the shot go off."
Neither man disputed the fact Rocha put up a fight, although Ulfeng did tell detectives Rocha had just told him that morning he wanted to turn himself in and "get his life straight." Schroeder said that was certainly not his attitude the night of the shooting.