San Diego Police Department

Police Release Graphic Video of Man Shot at SDPD Headquarters

Law enforcement said the man was shot after he was left alone in a police SUV and got ahold of an officer's backup weapon

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San Diego police released graphic video on Wednesday of a man shot by officers at their downtown headquarters on Sunday night after he allegedly slipped out of one of his handcuffs and got ahold of an officer's back-up gun.

The video was recorded by multiple cameras at the scene, including body cameras worn by officers involved in the incident.


SDPD Capt. Rich Freedman said on Sunday that officers responded to a call at a downtown hotel about a man who threatened security guards and that hotel security told them the man was acting strangely and was escorted off the property.

In the video released on Wednesday, police said that the man was checked for evidence of being under the influence and arrested, and that a search of his pockets yielded methamphetamine and five credit cards, which were determined not to belong to him.

Officers took the 25-year-old San Diegan, identified by police on Wednesday as Keith Bergman, into custody without incident, police said, and transported him to SDPD headquarters, where he was left alone in the back of the police vehicle. However, officials said, Bergman slipped off one of his handcuffs, broke a plexiglass barrier and gained access to a backpack in the back seat of the SUV that contained an officer's secondary handgun.

NBC 7's Niala Charles is at the SDPD headquarter where police shot a man who was in custody.

"An officer, hearing the commotion, opens the door to discover the man is free of his handcuffs," reads a text statement included in the video released Wednesday. "As other officers approach the car, they see that he is holding a handgun. They draw their service weapons and attempt to persuade him to drop the gun with no success."

In a security camera video, it appears that Bergman attempted to force his way out of the car when the first officer opened the rear passenger door, but she managed to push it closed and summoned other officers. At least three other officers join her, but none have their weapons out at that point. As they attempted to reopen the door, all four officers suddenly drew their weapons. In some of the body cam footage, Bergman can be seen in the backseat of the patrol car, looking directly at the drawn weapons and flashlight pointed at him. A short time later, all the officers retreat their positions and take up defensive positions behind concrete pillars and police cars nearby.

Authorities said Bergman refused to drop the weapon and fired at least one round. Police released security camera footage of this moment, where debris, possibly auto glass, appears to fly away from rear of the car. The next footage in the video -- the first accompanied by audio, which starts recording two minutes after a body cam is turned on -- records Bergman being shot at by two of the officers.

"Everybody, hold your positions right now," an officer can be heard saying prior to the shooting. "Nobody move."

Suddenly, the sounds of multiple gunshots ring out. Bergman was struck by fire at least once in the upper body, police said later on Sunday night.

After several minutes, according to the video release, Bergman reached out a window and opened the door, exiting the vehicle with a backpack and the handgun tucked in his waist. Inexplicably, he then went to the back of the police vehicle and tried to open the rear hatch. On the video, he can next be seen, bleeding profusely, moving to the driver-side door.

"He tries and fails to open the rear hatch," the video statement said. "The man then tries to open the driver door and an officer fires three rounds. The man tries again and a fourth round is fired."

Prior to the second shooting, officers can be heard on the body-cam footage -- recorded by an officer at the far end of the garage, not the officer who fires -- screaming repeatedly at Bergman to show his hands, get away from the vehicle and drop the gun. During the second shooting, the officer who fires is on the opposite side of the car's hood from Bergman, possibly inside a nearby office. Just prior to the second shooting, Bergman can be seen in the video removing his hand, which had been inserted through the driver's side window in what appears to be an effort to open the door, and moving it to his side, behind the door and near where the gun is in his waistband. Three holes are then shot through the windshield, and Bergman, who seems to have been shot again, falls to the ground. He is soon partly back up, however, but is mostly out of sight of the officer who was shooting, the gun still in his waistband -- then the officer fires again and Bergman falls to the ground.

After not complying with demands, the video shows a K-9 being deployed. The dog bit Bergman before officers were able to handcuff him again. Police said Bergman was then taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No officers were injured in the confrontation. On Wednesday, SDPD identified the officers involved in the shooting as Central Division officers Paul Yi, a six-year veteran of the department, and Michael Rodriguez, with SDPD for 10 months; and Timothy Arreola, an eight-year veteran assigned to the Special Operations Unit.

The video concludes with statements that the internal affairs unit, shooting review board and the community review board on police practices will all be conducting investigations of the incident. It also states that the FBI and the US Attorney's Office will be monitoring the investigation.

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