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Tipsheet

Actually, That Texas Entrepreneur Shot by Police Was Doing Something Very Wrong

Austin Police Department

Tech entrepreneur Rajan Moonesinghe was shot and killed by Austin police on November 15 in what his family describes as an unjustified killing. Moonesinghe had purchased a rifle for self-protection after his home was burgled, but it would seem he didn’t have enough training or common sense to know that popping off rounds would probably lead to a confrontation with law enforcement. NBC News had an appallingly sanitized story, where they reported that shots are heard on the recently released Ring camera footage. 

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It’s painfully clear that Moonesinghe is firing his rifle. Who he is aiming for is off-camera, but it’s clear that the shots are coming from his firearm—you can see spent shell casings being ejected. When police arrived, you could only imagine what was going through their minds, with a man armed with a rifle popping off rounds randomly.


Moonesinghe was shot and killed, though the family claims not enough warning was given. At that moment, one could argue that officers felt this was an active shooter situation, in which case no notice was warranted. The publication added that Moonesinghe seemed fearful of something based on an emergency phone call. The caller who witnessed Moonesinghe with a rifle on his porch described his actions as paranoid (via NBC News):

Rajan “Raj” Moonesinghe, 33, had returned from a trip and suspected his home had been burglarized during the early-morning hours of Nov. 15. That’s when he held a rifle outside his front door and was encountered by an Austin police officer who quickly shot him while almost simultaneously ordering Moonesinghe to drop the gun, relatives said.

In an exclusive interview … Moonesinghe’s mother, Ruth, and brother, Johann, said they were heartbroken and demanded answers from Austin police as to why their loved one was killed so quickly before being given a reasonable amount of time to drop the weapon.

“He did nothing wrong,” Johann Moonesinghe said. “He had a gun … he was defending his house and he didn’t point the gun. He was not menacing. He didn’t look like he was going to shoot anyone.” 

[…]

The two-minute Ring video shows Moonesinghe carrying the rifle outside his home while walking toward the street. He appears to briefly hold up the rifle before turning around and walking toward his front door and pointing the rifle. 

He appears to say, “Yep, you want this?” Several seconds pass and then Moonesinghe says, “Are you sure?” “Oh my God, you’re f------ stupid. You’re f------ stupid.”

He then points the rifle toward the doorway and a loud gunshot is heard while a police car passes in the background of the video. A second police car then passes. A second shot is heard while Moonesinghe is not in view of the camera, according to the video. 

He then comes into view of the camera and is walking on his porch when what sounds like “drop the gun” is shouted, and nearly simultaneously multiple shots are heard on the video.

Moonesinghe then drops to the ground and shouts, “It wasn’t me.” He then yells an expletive, the video shows. “Subject is down, hands are up” is heard on the video.

Moonesinghe again appears to say, “It wasn’t me.”

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Whether Moonesinghe was a good guy is irrelevant—he waltzed out of his house armed and started firing rounds into his neighborhood. If the police show up, you’ll likely get riddled with bullets. 

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