San Bernardino, California, police command the man to drop his gun and put up his hands. He complies, albeit slowly, but when he refuses orders to stop walking toward officers, one of them shoots him five times in a flash, bodycam footage shows.
The San Bernardino Police Department released video of the 2018 shooting of Richard Sanchez last week, saying the officer who pulled the trigger is no longer with the force.
Officer Brandon Gaddie’s actions “fell far short of our high expectations and standards,” a news release accompanying the video says.
Gaddie resigned after the shooting, San Bernardino police Sgt. John Echevarria told CNN. Another officer who responded to the incident has returned to duty, acting Police Chief Eric McBride said in the video.
Woman reports he has a gun
According to Echevarria, who narrates the bodycam footage released by police, one of Sanchez’s relatives called 911 at about 10:14 p.m. on September 28, 2018, to report that Sanchez was intoxicated and threatening family members.
Sanchez had a felony warrant for his arrest stemming from an incident months earlier in which he allegedly made terroristic threats during a domestic dispute, Echevarria said. Officers learned of the warrant as they were en route to the home in the Highland area of San Bernardino.
Nine minutes after the first call to police, a woman who said she was Sanchez’s sister-in-law called back to say the 27-year-old Sanchez had a gun. The dispatcher relayed to police that the woman reported “she sees the subject holding a gun in his hand right now,” audio from the call shows.
Not only was Sanchez intoxicated, the woman reported, but he was behaving irrationally, saying “he had everybody under his control because he was God,” according to Echevarria.
“The woman said she had escaped with children, fearing for their safety,” the sergeant said.
When Officer Gaddie and another officer arrived, they heard arguing and found the home’s front door open. Sanchez was standing just inside the door.
“They saw and heard Sanchez, who had his back to the front door and a gun in his right hand. A woman was standing just a few feet away,” Echevarria said.
The officers level their weapons and order Sanchez to drop his, the video shows. He doesn’t immediately comply, instead transferring the gun to his other hand. After six commands from police, he places the gun on the arm of a couch, the video shows.
It isn’t clear from the bodycam video which officer is speaking during the encounter.
Sanchez walks toward the front door as officers demand five times that he put his hands in the air, which he does as he continues through the door and toward officers, the video shows.
“Stop! Stop moving!” an officer yells before Gaddie fires five shots in about a second.
Sanchez clutches his chest and collapses onto the front lawn as an officer issues a final command: “Stop!”
Sanchez died at the hospital, Echevarria said.
Inside the home, officers discovered a loaded .40-caliber handgun, police said.
Gaddie no longer on force
“We’ve concluded that one of our officers’ decision-making did not meet the standards held by our department and the community we serve. As a result, he no longer works for the San Bernardino Police Department,” McBride said in the video released last week.
He added, “The use of deadly force is traumatic for all involved. Each encounter is unique and requires officers to make split-second decisions without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident and will determine if Gaddie will face charges, the acting chief said.
The prosecutor’s office released a statement promising a “thorough review” to determine if the shooting was justified.
The review “will not address whether the tactics or actions of any involved officer fall within the police agency’s use of force guidelines or whether civil liability should follow from these events,” the statement said.
CNN was not able to immediately contact Gaddie for comment.
Sanchez family attorney Brian Dunn said in a statement to CNN affiliate KABC that the shooting has “left a void that cannot be filled in the lives of his family members,” but he applauded the police department’s actions following the shooting.
“The family is honored and encouraged by the swift acceptance of responsibility of the San Bernardino Police Department, whose investigation into this tragic incident was aimed at uncovering the truth, even when this meant acknowledging the mistakes of a fellow officer.”