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San Pablo PD: Replica Gun-Wielding Man Shot Dead By Officers Intended To Be Killed By Police

SAN PABLO (CBS SF) -- San Pablo police released surveillance and officer bodycam footage Friday of a man shot dead by officers last month in what was appears to be a deliberate effort by the man to force police to kill him.

The incident happened December 15 after police received a 911 call from a store clerk on the 1300 block of Market Ave. reporting a man was in the parking lot holding a handgun. The clerk told police the man was repeatedly taking the magazine out of the gun and putting it back in and he feared the man was about to enter his business.

The man fled the area in a red pickup before police arrived, but officers found the vehicle heading west on Market Ave. just outside the San Pablo city limits in North Richmond and initiated a high-risk traffic stop.

As officers attempted to communicate with the suspect, they saw he had blood on his hands. In video footage from several police body cameras, officers can be heard repeatedly ordering the man to show both his hands but the man did not comply.

The footage then shows the man stepping out of the truck holding the gun, making a racking motion on the gun with his other hand, pulling it to his chest, and turning to face the officers. San Pablo police officers Monica Louis, Javier Rios, Shaun Swaleh, and Waseemah Ali opened fire and struck the man. Officers immediately began providing life-saving aid, but he died on the way to the hospital.

San Pablo Police shooting
Image from police dashboard camera moments before a man holding a BB gun was shot and killed by San Pablo police officers. (San Pablo Police Department)

It was later learned that the man was holding a BB pellet gun that looked like a real gun. When officers told the man to raise his hands he had instead made a racking motion with the gun, even though there was no sliding mechanism on the gun. Detectives also learned the man had told a witness of his intention to force officers to kill him. He had additionally made "goodbye" statements to family members earlier in the day, and sent an image of the BB gun to a family member with a message saying "goodbye."

Based on the investigation, San Pablo police said the incident no longer met the criteria under Assembly Bill 1506 for state prosecutors to investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting of an unarmed civilian. The California Department of Justice identifies a BB pellet gun as a deadly weapon, even if inoperable or unloaded.

BB gun San Pablo police shooting
Image of a BB gun sent by a man to a family member along with a note saying "goodbye." (San Pablo Police Department)

San Pablo police are still coordinating the investigation with the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office and the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office. Police said it released the bodycam footage and other information on the case in an effort to foster transparency and trust with the community.


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