Escondido Police Release Footage of Officer Shooting Crowbar-Wielding Man

The Escondido Police Department said the officer who was involved backpedaled away from the charging suspect for more than 80 feet before firing any shots

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Surveillance footage released Friday by the Escondido Police Department shows an officer shooting a man accused of charging him with a crowbar.

Rosendo Sandoval Quezada, 44, was shot by police in the early hours of June 19.

Police were called by the son of Quezada's ex-wife, who reported Quezada was "lurking" around their home, according to EPD. Quezada's ex-wife had filed a restraining order against him a few days prior.

A responding officer saw Quezada's car driving away from the home and followed. The officer tried to initiate a traffic stop after Quezada ran a stop sign, but he did not immediately pull over.

Shortly after running a red light on W. Washington Avenue, Quezada slowed his sedan to a stop in the middle of the traffic lane, according to EPD. He exited his vehicle, allegedly with a 3-foot crowbar in hand, and charged the officer.

Surveillance footage from an adjacent business shows the patrolman, identified only as Officer Hamilton, backpedaling as Quezada charges.

Warning: This video contains graphic imagery and language.

Hamilton reported hearing Quezada say, "Just kill me, I want to die," or something similar, as he ran toward the officer.

Quezada refused commands to stop, and when he got within a few feet, Hamilton fired his service weapon once, according to EPD. Quezada can be seen in the video pausing briefly, then continuing to advance toward Hamilton seconds later.

Hamilton attempted to fire a second shot, but his gun jammed, EPD said. He cleared the jam, while still backing away, and fired three more shots that dropped Quezada to the street.

Text accompanying EPD's video states that Hamilton backpedaled for approximately 83 feet before firing his last three shots. Shortly after, Hamilton activated his body camera. In that footage, he can be heard calling for backup and medics as Quezada groans on the ground.

Hamilton then quickly detained Quezada and rendered first aid. Quezada can be heard yelling, "I want to die," as Hamilton places him in handcuffs with the crowbar a few feet away.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer doing paperwork in a nearby parking lot witnessed the shooting and helped Hamilton detain Quezada, according to EPD.

More officers arrived, and as they were providing first aid to Quezada, he can be heard saying, "I don't want you to help me."

As is standard with police shootings, the incident is being investigated by the district attorney's Office, the state attorney's Office and the FBI. An internal department review is also under way, according to EPD Chief Ed Varso.

Quezada survived his injuries and later pleaded not guilty to charges that included assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.

EPD said that less than 10 minutes passed between the 911 call and the traffic stop.

Hamilton, who has been with the Escondido Police Department for about four years, was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

In addition to the assault accusation, Quezada faces charges of resisting arrest and violating a restraining order. He's being held on $100,000 bail and is due back in court Aug. 7.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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