Hayward police on Friday released officer body-worn camera footage, 911 recordings and dispatch radio recordings of an officer-involved shooting on Nov. 15 in which two officers fatally shot 29-year old Agustin Gonsalez of Lathrop outside an apartment complex.
Hayward police said in a statement that initially they withheld the body-worn camera footage and other audio and video “to preserve the integrity of the investigation in the interest of justice for all parties involved.” The department said that remains a valid concern, but after hearing community concerns and reviewing the process, Police Chief Mark Koller has determined that the information should be released to provide much-needed information to the family and the community, who he said are justifiably concerned about this incident.
“In our efforts to support transparency, this is something we should do and are committed to do earlier in the future,” Koller said in the statement.
In their initial report on the shooting, Hayward police said three officers responded to the apartment complex in the 24600 block of Oneil Avenue at about 9 p.m. on Nov. 15 after they received a call that a man, later identified as Gonsalez, was brandishing a knife.
Police said the caller said Gonsalez, who was his neighbor’s ex-boyfriend, threatened him with a knife and was acting erratically. According to police, when the three officers arrived at the scene they found Gonsalez standing in the street.
One officer got out of his car and from a distance of about 10 to 15 feet ordered Gonsalez to drop the object in his hand, police said. The officer repeated those orders as Gonsalez approached him while holding an object in his right hand but ultimately two officers fired their service weapons multiple times because Gonsalez ignored those commands and continued to approach the officer at an unsafe distance, according to police. Once Gonsalez was detained, the officers were able to determine that the object in his hand was a razor blade rather than a knife, as had been initially reported in the 911 call, police said.
Gonsalez was treated at the scene and then was transported to a hospital but he died there the following night, according to police. In a statement at that time, Hayward police said, “We can confirm the accounts from multiple witnesses that Mr. Gonsalez told officers that they would have to kill him as he approached their position and ignored commands to drop his weapon.” Police said two officers fired a total of 13 rounds, striking Gonsalez multiple times.
In the dispatch radio recording, Gonsalez can be heard threatening the witness who called police.
In the footage from one of the officers’ body-worn cameras, Gonsalez can be heard making threatening remarks to officers. Then the officers’ shots can be heard, Gonsalez falls to the ground and a woman’s screaming voice can be heard.
Hayward police said the footage indicates that Gonsalez advanced to within 10 to 15 feet of officers before they started shooting at him. Police said the officers opened fire only 7 or 8 seconds after they got out of their police vehicles.
Koller said the officers who shot Gonsalez were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.
He also said Hayward police are conducting an internal investigation of the shooting and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an independent investigation.
Hayward police said, “The Department acknowledges that this is a tragic incident for the family, the community, and everyone involved.” The footage and recording can be accessed at the department’s website at www.hayward-ca.gov/critical-incident.