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Pittsburg Police Release Body-Cam Video Of Shooting, ID Suspect Shot

PITTSBURG (CBS SF/ BCN) – Pittsburg police identified a suspect and released video from officers' body cameras Tuesday that captured the shooting of the suspect, who had a knife and had barricaded himself in a hotel room last month for more than 20 hours.

Police also identified the suspect, 45-year-old Ashton Porter, of Alpharetta, Georgia, who survived the shooting and is in custody on $430,000 bail. He is charged with five counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, one count of felony vandalism, and one count of criminal trespassing.

The 14-minute long video is a compilation from the cameras of multiple officers, as the batteries in some body cameras were drained during the lengthy incident, police said in a news release posted on Facebook. The video is online at YouTube.

Police also identified the officer involved in the shooting as Officer Ernesto Mejia, a seven-year veteran of the force.

Officers fired at Porter after he walked out of a hotel room armed with a knife at about 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 24. Two shots from Mejia's gun hit Porter, police said.

Police responded more than 20 hours earlier after receiving reports of a man yelling, breaking a window and smashing items inside a fourth-floor room at the Hampton Inn in the 1200 block of California Avenue in Pittsburg.

Police said responding officers tried to speak with Porter through the locked and barricaded door, but that he refused to leave the room.

Police requested assistance from the Contra Costa County Mental Health Evaluation team and the Mobile Crisis Response Team, which communicated with Porter and contacted a family member to speak with him as well.

Police said both efforts were unsuccessful.

During these conversations, police said Porter said he wanted to "end it all." A utility truck with a boom was maneuvered outside the room's window to prevent the suspect from jumping.

Screen Shot 2022-03-16 at 9.58.23 AM
Pittsburg Police surround the hotel room of Ashton Porter during his 20-hour standoff with law enforcement. (CBS SF)

The mental health professionals left the scene shortly after midnight, more than 12 hours after the incident had begun, police said.

At one point, police said Porter stuck his knife through a hole in the damaged door of his hotel room in an apparent attempt to stab one of the officers.

Over the next several hours, officers used multiple rounds of chemical irritants to subdue Porter, but they had minimal effects, police said.

At about 8 a.m., another round of chemical irritants were fired into the room, causing Porter to walk out with a large butcher-style knife in his hand.

Porter turned toward officers at the other end of the hallway -- a distance that appears on the video to be about 25 or more feet away -- with the knife raised above his head.

Officer Mejia fired and two shots struck Porter.

Four shots in rapid succession can be heard on the video, but police said the first two were less-lethal sponge rounds.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office will be completing an independent investigation into this incident, police said, adding that the department is having a separate independent investigation conducted as per department policy.

Police said the full video will be released on the city's website when the investigative process allows.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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