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July 18, 2024

Aptos man shot, killed by San Jose Police

SAN JOSE—A 29-year-old Aptos man was shot and killed Saturday by police on Highway 85 during a vehicle stop, San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said Wednesday.

San Jose Police say that the man, who has not been named, was the passenger during the stop on southbound Hwy 85 at 3:09 p.m. He was reportedly shot while reaching for an officer’s gun.

Police spotted the man, who had an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant for evading police, in the passenger seat of a vehicle that his father was driving. When police stopped the car, officers ordered the man to get out but he did not respond, Garcia said.

The man’s father then reached across his son’s lap and opened the passenger door to get his son to get out of the car, Garcia said.

“The suspect then started to manipulate his cellphone,” Garcia said. “The officer observed the suspect pull a gun from his waistband and raise it toward the officer. The officer grabbed the suspect’s arm, while a second officer used a Taser on the suspect.”

However, the Taser did not incapacitate the suspect, and he “continued to raise the gun toward the officer,” Garcia said. As the officer wrestled with the passenger over the passenger’s gun, the man then tried to grab the officer’s gun, Garcia said. The second officer then deployed one shot, killing the suspect.

Police searched the car and found a loaded model 26 Glock 9mm pistol with an extended magazine.

The incident stemmed from an Oct. 24 run-in the suspect had with police when members of the Violent Crimes Enforcement Team stopped him on Stevens Creek Boulevard at Monroe Street in San Jose. Garcia said the man handed police his driver’s license, then intentionally backed his vehicle into a patrol vehicle during that car stop. He reportedly fled the scene, and police gave a short chase before calling it off for safety reasons, Garcia said.

The man was on Santa Cruz County post-release community supervision for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, “a pattern that would repeat itself,” Garcia said.

That’s when investigators obtained arrest warrants.

Garcia said the man had numerous convictions, including arson, burglary, receiving stolen property, drunk in public and grand theft auto. Garcia added that almost all of the previous charges stem from Santa Cruz. He had recently served about two years in jail.

The shooting marks the fourth officer-involved shooting in San Jose this year, Garcia said.

Body-worn cameras by police were deployed during the shooting incident. The Santa Clara District Attorney and the SJPD Homicide Unit are conducting a joint investigation into the incidents.

“These are situations I fear most,” Garcia said. “Yes, our society has too many guns. The most effective laws we need in California regarding guns are to enforce the laws we already have.”

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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