Recently released officer body cam footage shows the May 2019 fatal interaction between San Jose officers and Efren Esquivel. Footage shows the suspect ignore commands before jumping into a vehicle. He then runs over an officer before police open fire, ultimately killing the suspect. Authorities recently cleared the officers in the shooting.
San Jose Officers Cleared in Efren Esquivel Shooting
Footage shows Esquivel repeatedly ignore commands and attempt to escape from a carport. Officers attempt to talk him down for some time. Then Esquivel inexplicably jumps back into a vehicle. He proceeds to run over one officer, before police open up a deadly volley of fire.
The three officers “only fired their weapons as a last, and necessary, resort following multiple attempts to de-escalate the situation and resolve it without force,” wrote Santa Clara County District Attorney Office’s Rob Baker, reported mercurynews.com. “Only when Esquivel ignored their attempts to surrender peacefully and drove at Sergeant Mason at a high rate of speed posing a clear threat of injury or death did they fire their weapons.”
The report backed up previous police accounts of the shooting, reported mercurynews.com. Police encountered Esquivel after he allegedly stole a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy’s personal vehicle, reported mercurynews.com. The interaction began calm, and then the suspect suddenly attempted to run for it, hitting an officer.
“Sergeant Mason did not believe Esquivel would be able to make the turn so sharply and quickly as he did,” Baker wrote. “Moreover, Sergeant Mason had nowhere to safely retreat.”
That’s when the other three officers opened fire. In all, officers fired 21 shots, striking the suspect in his torso and right arm, reported mercurynews.com. A toxicology report showed the suspect held “near toxic” levels of methamphetamine in his system.
The report further stated Esquivel was a known gang member with multiple past convictions for auto theft, reported mercurynews.com.