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Details emerge in weekend San Jose police shooting that critically wounded suspect

Man shot by San Jose police Sunday still in critical condition
Man shot by San Jose police Sunday still in critical condition 00:25

Police in San Jose released additional details Monday after officers shot and wounded a suspect during a confrontation in East San Jose over the weekend.

The shooting occurred in the 2700 block of Kollmar Drive, near Story Road and Capitol Expressway shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, after officers responded to reports of a man firing a gun.

San Jose officer-involved shooting
San Jose officer-involved shooting KPIX

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Acting Chief Paul Joseph said that officers were called to an apartment complex in the area at 4:11 p.m. following reports of someone shooting bullets from a van in the parking lot. The suspect also reportedly blocked access to the lot and brandished a firearm on a mother returning home to her children.

"Like countless times before, our officers responded selflessly, placing themselves between vulnerable people and a dangerous individual," Joseph said.

Several minutes later, police reported being shot at by the suspect, leading to two officers returning fire.

Joseph said the suspect had reloaded his weapon and began running northbound through the complex. While responding officers lost sight of the suspect, they continued to hear gunshots.

Additional officers arrived at the scene. Joseph said the suspect opened fire at one of the officers while advancing. Another officer shot the suspect, identified as 41-year-old Ricardo Villareal of San Jose.

(Left) Photo of suspect in confrontation that led to a police shooting in San Jose on May 19, 2024. Police identified the suspect as 41-year-old Ricardo Villareal (right). San Jose Police Department

The man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, but no officers were hit by gunfire, police said. An unregistered gun was recovered at the scene.

According to the chief, the three officers who used their weapons had 3.5 years experience, 4 years experience and 4.5 years experience, respectively.

"The potential for a mass tragedy was last night was imminent," Joseph said at the news conference. "This apartment complex was filled with people enjoying a warm, sunday evening. Families, friends and children were safe, and the next were in grave danger."

Police said Villareal had been convicted of previous felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, possession of a sawed-off shotgun and a stolen vehicle. He was on probation at the time of the shooting.

Joseph said that 15 San Jose police officers have been shot at over the last 15 months. 

Five of the officers have been struck by gunfire, including two officers who were shot while responding to a domestic violence call earlier this month. According to Joseph, one of the officers remained hospitalized as of Monday.

"The frequency of San Jose police officers being shot at or hit by gunfire has gone from a rare anomaly to a regular occurance," Joseph said. "We cannot allow attempts of killing of our officers to become normalized, expected or tolerated."

The chief said Sunday's incident remains under investigation.

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