Video: Calif. deputy shoots, kills man during traffic stop
Authorities said the man ignored commands and "aggressively" approached the deputy with his arm behind his back
By Michael Williams
San Francisco Chronicle
NAPA COUNTY, Calif. — Authorities in Napa County released video on Wednesday showing a deputy fatally shoot a man who was unarmed — but whom authorities said ignored commands and “aggressively” approached the sheriff’s deputy with his arm behind his back.
Napa County sheriff’s officials said the Oct. 5 incident that resulted in the death of Juan Adrian Garcia began when Sgt. David Ackman pulled Garcia over for not having his headlights on. Garcia stopped near the intersection of Kaiser Road and State Highway 221, south of the city of Napa.
The first 30 seconds of video from Ackman’s body-worn camera do not contain sound. In the video, Ackman exited his patrol car, took cover behind the driver’s side door and drew his firearm as Garcia appeared to toss his cellphone over his red sedan.
Garcia then got out of his car and walked toward Ackman. Ackman walked toward Garcia, holstered his gun and appeared to motion for Garcia to turn around.
As Ackman walked back toward his car and told Garcia to turn around, Garcia continued approaching the deputy with his right arm behind his back, at his waistline, according to the video.
Ackman re-drew his gun and shined his flashlight at Garcia. He then maneuvered to the right side of his patrol car, putting the vehicle between himself and Garcia.
Garcia again approached Ackman with his hand behind his back, as Ackman walked backward. Ackman ordered Garcia to stop three times before he fired six shots. Garcia collapsed at the rear of Ackman’s car.
Each bullet hit Garcia — five in the torso, one in the leg, authorities said. The video ends with Ackman saying “Shots fired,” into his radio, as Garcia moans on the ground.
Officials learned afterward that Garcia did not have a weapon.
Authorities said first responders administered first aid to Garcia before he was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center. Garcia died from his injuries the next day.
Investigators said they were not able to obtain a statement from Garcia. Authorities said his blood-alcohol level was .338% — more than four times over the legal limit to drive in California. Officials said Garcia was able to understand English.
Ackman, a 21-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated.
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