'It’s been holy hell for me,' says mother of Nicolas Chavez, after 4 officers reinstated

The mother of 27-year-old Nicolas Chavez, who was shot more than 20 times by Houston Police in 2020, spoke with FOX 26 Monday by phone, too disturbed to speak in person. 

"Since he’s been gone, it’s been holy hell for me. I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip," said Leantha Chavez. "He wasn’t going to hurt anybody but himself."

BACKGROUND: Four HPD officers fired following deadly April 2020 shooting of Nicolas Chavez

On April 21, 2020, 28 officers responded to the call about a person running into traffic possibly having a mental breakdown. After a lengthy confrontation, Nicolas was killed by officers.

Police later released body camera video of the deadly shooting, which led then-HPD Chief Art Acevedo to fire four HPD officers.

On Monday morning, an arbitrator ruled those four officers can be reinstated after they appealed to an independent hearing examiner.

DETAILS: Houston police officers fired for Nicolas Chavez shooting reinstated; will receive full back pay

"After consideration of evidence it was ruled that the city did not prove policies were violated," said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner at a news conference on Monday afternoon. "Pursuant to the ruling, the officers must be reinstated."

Leantha Chavez tells us she's scared of what could happen to her since she too suffers from mental health issues.

"I’m scared to walk out this door and have an episode myself because, hell, are they going to come shoot me too?" said Leantha. "How are we supposed to feel about HPD? How are we supposed to feel about calling HPD during a mental crisis?"

CONTINUE READING: $100M civil lawsuit filed against HPD, City of Houston following fatal April 2020 shooting of Nicolas Chavez