Warning: This video depicts graphic and disturbing images that may not be appropriate for some viewers.
The Vallejo Police Department on Wednesday released 911 audio and body worn camera footage of one of their officers shooting a trespassing suspect in January, more than eight months ago.
Around 8:30 a.m., police received a 911 call from a church in the 400 block of Nebraska Street reporting a trespasser who appeared to be homeless. Officers Rashad Hollis and Christopher Hendrix responded to the scene and found 49-year-old Edward Gonzalez.
During a brief confrontation, Gonzalez refused to comply with their orders, saying “f—- you” repeatedly before hopping a nearby fence as Hendrix unsuccessfully attempted to disable him with a Taser. According to information provided in the video, the Taser malfunctioned and was rendered ineffective.
As Hendrix went over the fence to pursue Gonzalez, one of the officers asked:
“Is that a knife in his hands?”
Gonzalez ran, briefly, but slowed to a walk as Hendrix pursued him, ordering the man to drop his knife.
“Drop it right now.”
“You’re about to get shot.”
This verbal exchange continued as Hendrix pursued Gonzalez into a fenced corner of the parking lot, staying within 10 to 15 feet of him as the situation escalated.
Then Gonzalez turned toward Hendrix and took about three steps in his direction with the knife in his hand. Hendrix fired four shots. The suspect remained standing for the first three shots and the fourth round appeared to knock him down. After that, he sat back up, rose to his knees and appeared to attempt to stand back up, but the officer who shot him repeatedly shouted:
“Get on the ground!”
Gonzalez eventually complied. More than 30 seconds after the last shot was fired, Gonzalez discarded the knife as ordered by the shooter.
The shooting took place inside a fenced parking lot with a locked gate, and it took other officers several minutes to gain access to the suspect, but roughly five minutes after the last shot was fired the officers handcuffed him, searched him and administered medical aid.
One of the officers asked for a “chest seal,” a medical device used to prevent air from entering the torso in the event of a sucking chest wound.
At that point this suspect had gone limp but he repeatedly asked the arresting officers to take off his handcuffs as one of the officers said:
“Turn it off.”
The video ends at that point.
Gonzalez survived his injuries and was subsequently charged with assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, brandishing a deadly weapon to resist arrest, resisting arrest and trespassing.
Interim Vallejo Police Chief Joe Allio closed out the video by stating that there are pending investigations into the shooting by the department itself as well as the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.
“I hope the material in this video gave you a better perspective on what happened on this day.”
This video was released more than eight months after the shooting. A recently enacted state law requires disclosure of police body camera video within 45 days.