San Diego police released graphic video footage Friday of the fatal officer-involved shooting on Menlo Avenue in the Teralta East neighborhood.
They also revealed the weapon the man carried was not a handgun, but an air-soft gun.
Police posted the 12:30-long video of Thursday’s shooting on YouTube. It’s comprised of footage from two officers’ body cams and a witness’ cell phone.
It was the second OIS involving the SDPD in less than a week.
The video depicts a witness directing officers to the suspect, who has yet to be identified. As officers proceed up the block, just before the four-minute mark, they spot the man behind a parked SUV, with some sort of weapon nearby.
For about two minutes officers urge him not to reach for the object, which one officer reports seeing on the ground. “Don’t touch it!” at least one officer yelled at the suspect. “You in the black shirt, step away from the gun!” also can be heard. “Don’t pick it up! Come to us,” another said.
Nearing the six-minute mark, one cries out, “He’s got the gun,” and several officers open fire, including one officer recording from a body-cam. The gunfire continues for 15 seconds.
An officer reports that he doesn’t see the suspect moving, but said the gun remained “next to his left hand.”
The witness’ footage, filmed from a window behind the suspect, shows the man, wearing what appears to be a protective face covering, fiddling with his hands or his clothes while officers continue to implore him.
He then picks up the gun and they open fire.
Thursday’s incident began when police received a 911 call about 3:50 p.m. alerting them to a man with a gun in the 4300 block of Menlo.
Two women said the man confronted them and pointed the weapon at them, according to Lt. Matt Dobbs of the San Diego Police Department.
According to the police account of the OIS, officers located the man, saw what they thought was a weapon and took covered positions in order to give him directions. At one point, the man raised his hands and the object fell to the ground.
The officers ordered the man to move away from the gun, to no avail. When he appeared to pick it up, they opened fire.
The man, struck at least once, fell to the ground. Officers though noted he was still moving and said he pointed the gun at them again. That resulted in a second round of gunfire.
Officers came to the man’s aid, followed by paramedics, but he died from his injuries.
Seven officers fired their weapons, all from the Mid-City Division. They have been placed on administrative duty. The air-soft gun was recovered.
The shooting is under investigation by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the department’s Internal Affairs Unit and Shooting Review Board, as well as the Community Review Board on Police Practices. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will monitor the investigation.
On Sunday evening, three San Diego police officers opened fire on an arrestee who allegedly slipped out of a set of handcuffs at SDPD headquarters, and grabbed an officer’s gun. He fired at least one round.
The suspect, Keith Bergman, 25, suffered non-life-threatening wounds. He was released from medical care two days later and has been booked into county jail on several counts, including attempted murder.
– Staff and wire reports
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