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DA's Office: Salinas Fatal Police Shooting Will Not Be Investigated By State DOJ Because Suspect Was Armed

SALINAS (BCN) -- An investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of a 19-year-old Salinas man on Friday will not be conducted by the California Department of Justice, according to a report describing the facts of the incident issued Monday by Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

The report concludes that the incident is exempt from a 2020 state law mandating investigations of officer-involved shootings, because the suspect was armed with a deadly weapon.

The district attorney's office shared video footage of the incident that shows the suspect -- Gerardo Martinez -- pointing a handgun at police before he was shot and killed by Officer Mario Reyes.

A state investigation is not mandated when there is clear evidence the suspect was armed with a deadly weapon, even though the gun turned out to be a pellet gun, which the report states is still considered a deadly weapon.

The graphic video was shared on the Facebook page of the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Warning: video may be disturbing

The incident began at 8:01 p.m. Friday, when a resident on Smith Street called police to report Martinez, a neighbor, was drunk and pointing a handgun at him. The caller was not sure if the gun was genuine or a pellet gun and said the suspect had "attacked us before" and vandalized his property on earlier occasions.

Police arrived six minutes later and when backup arrived officers positioned two patrol cars at the scene of the suspect's residence, according to the report.

After officers were unable to contact Martinez via telephone to talk with him, a drone was positioned near the suspect's side door, which he opened and closed several times over the next several minutes.

At 8:36 p.m., when Martinez opened the side door again, officers told him in Spanish to come out with his hands up, and he closed the door.

At 8:37, Martinez opened the door again and pointed his gun at officers. Officer Reyes then fired three rounds, one of which struck Martinez in the torso. He died shortly afterward.


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