The Hayward Police Department in California has released body-camera footage of officers fatally shooting a man armed with a BB gun. The shooting took place on September 6 and the footage was withheld until now to preserve the integrity of the investigation. The officers involved are currently under investigation by an independent third-party consultant and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Hayward Police Department in California has released body-camera footage of officers fatally shooting a man armed with a BB gun. The incident occurred on September 6 at Foothill Boulevard and City Center Drive. Initially, police received reports of a person brandishing a gun, but it turned out to be a BB gun. Witnesses who knew the man, Antonio Lacunas-Escobar, 37, of Hayward, stated that he would sometimes carry a fake gun.
During a news conference, Acting Police Chief Bryan Matthews stated that a witness claimed Escobar pointed a firearm at the officers. The police said a Safeway security guard reported that a man matching Escobar’s description was attempting to steal items from the store. When they located Escobar, two officers discharged their weapons in response to a perceived threat. In their video presentation and an updated news release, the police stated that the suspect reached for what they believed was a pistol and pointed it in the direction of the officers.
However, none of the footage provided by the police shows this moment. Instead, the video shows officers instructing Escobar not to move and to “quit grabbing.” They determined that he was not complying and opened fire from a distance. Escobar was pronounced dead at the scene.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting have been identified as Officer Alexander Robinson and Dominic Espino. None of the officers were injured in the incident. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, with an independent third-party consultant participating in the investigation to determine if the officers complied with the police department’s policies.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is also conducting a criminal investigation into the officers’ actions. The investigations will be referred to the California Department of Justice’s Office of the Attorney General for review. The Department of Justice was immediately notified after the incident but did not respond to the scene.
The release of the body-camera footage aims to provide transparency and accountability in the investigation. The Hayward Police Department is working to ensure a thorough examination of the incident and adherence to their policies..