Family talks about their loss after fatal officer-involved shooting

Cristino Umana

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN is continuing to look into the officer-involved shooting that left a man dead in a remote part of Finney County earlier this month.

Cristino Umana’s family described him as an artist and a loving father.

“Cristino was very poetic,” said Rocio Caraveo, Cristino’s former girlfriend and the mother of his younger son. “Very poetic.”

“So many people have reached out to me that Cristino preached to them about God, sent them a Bible,” said his older brother Lonnie Lucero.

“His beautiful smile,” said Chris Lucero, another one of Cristino’s older brothers, about what he remembers most about his sibling. “He always had a smile.”

Chris says he can see his brother’s smile in Cristino’s youngest son, Maximiliano.

“He always had nicknames for everything,” remembered Caraveo. “Or he would always say, for example, we had a bowl of candy, he would say ‘treasure.'”

Cristino’s younger brother, Javier Umana, says the two were very close shared a love of art.

“I was in envy of the way he was able to capture everybody’s attention and keep it that way,” said Javier. “He was just funny all the time, had so much talent in art.”

Cristino’s family says his art expressed his inner demons.

“He would call them that, said ‘I’m battling with my demons,’ and he feels alone,” said Caraveo.

His family believes those demons contributed to the incident that led to his death.

“He called my sister at some point,” said Javier, “crying, and whatever he was going through, she got worried enough to call dispatch and tell them where he was at, because she didn’t want him to hurt himself.”

The sheriff’s department said when they found Umana, he had a knife and was acting threateningly towards officers.

KSN reached out to Garden City police to find out more about the investigation and the moments that led up to the shooting. They declined to speak on camera and would only say the investigation is ongoing and the officer involved remains on paid administrative leave, which is standard.

The KBI is also conducting an independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting.