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SWAT Team Cleared In Deadly Raid

SWAT Team Cleared In Deadly Raid

Raw Helmet Cam Footage Shows Deadly Raid on Ex-Marine [Video Capture]

Arizona Daily Star via YellowBrix

June 21, 2011

PIMA COUNTY, AZ – The five SWAT officers who shot and killed 26-year-old Jose Guerena while serving a search warrant May 5 have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Pima County Regional SWAT team members -from four law enforcement agencies in the county – were justified in using deadly force against Guerena, according to an investigation by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

The team members were: Officer Jake Shumate, Marana police; Officer Jason Horetski Oro Valley police; Officer Hector Iglesias, Sahuarita police; and Deputies Kenneth Walsh and Chris Garcia, of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Chief Criminal Deputy David Berkman determined there is no basis on which to prosecute those officers.

The officers shot at Guerena 71 times while serving a search warrant related to a drug-trafficking investigation, documents show.

Fewer than a third of those shots hit Guerena, leaving 49 rounds passing through walls and some hitting nearby homes, according to reports released by the department.

Guerena was struck 22 times, 18 of those on his extremities.

The report showed the shots entered Guerena’s body through the front, meaning he was facing officers when he was shot, Berkman wrote in the letter to Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Monday.

A close examination of the AR-15 rifle Guerena was holding at the time he was shot revealed that the bullet damage was done at an angle that indicated Guerena was pointing it at the officers, Berkman wrote in the letter.


Guerena was at his home in the 7100 block of South Redwater Drive with his wife and their 4-year-old son at about 9:30 a.m. when the SWAT team arrived.

SWAT officers turned the sirens on for about seven seconds when they approached the southwest-side house and knocked on the front door three times, announcing themselves for 15 seconds, a video released by the Sheriff’s Department revealed.

Guerena was at the end of a hallway holding a rifle when officers began shooting at him, SWAT officers said in narrative reports of the raid.

Guerena did not shoot, and his AR-15 rifle had the safety on and a round in the chamber when he was killed, sheriff’s officials said.

“The officers were mistaken in believing that Mr. Guerena fired at them,” Berkman wrote. “However, when Mr. Guerena raised the AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle in their direction, they needed to take immediate action to stop the deadly threat against them.”

Officer Garcia was the first to shoot after “fearing for his life,” Berkman said in his findings, and that first shot produced a muzzle flash that other officers thought was a muzzle flash coming in the opposite direction.

Officer Iglesias then slipped and fell backward, which the other officers mistook as a fall after being shot, Berkman wrote.

A call to Christopher Scileppi, an attorney representing Guerena’s family, was not returned Monday.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    John887

    over 2 years ago

    18 Comments

    15 seconds?!? How many people can answer their door in 15 seconds?

    Let me take a wild guess and say that the cops "investigated" themselves..and then found themselves to be not guilty.

    NO ONE should be able to investigate themselves...period.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    almost 3 years ago

    10984 Comments

    Glad the Officers were cleared. This was text book and a good shoot.

  • Est_training_with_kansas_city_metro_037_max50

    CBPD607

    about 3 years ago

    264 Comments

    Text book knock and announce. The media and criminals family will make a big deal out of the fact that "he didn't shoot first" and that the officers were "wrong" because they thought he did. This is why you don't talk or release any info until you have all your facts gathered.

  • Larry_apache_dist_13_max50

    AHP3611

    about 3 years ago

    316 Comments

    I'm glad no Officers were injured, but when do you tell the suspect that you coming with your siren on to serve a search warrant. This sounds like something they do in the movies. I been on several entry's with Tactical Officer's and the element of surprise was important involving armed suspect's and to prevent disposing of the drugs. I must have missed something in this story other than it being to serve a search warrant.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Tickets101

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Great work! For those that have not been trained or know....most SWAT teams train just a they do in the military when clearing or making entry....as you pass the threat you shoot. Not just the first guy either. Its ashame that an attorney is wanting to represent this family after their "piece" relative was holding a weapon.....

  • 3865552356_b034ced2c4_1__max50

    TxLeo1210

    about 3 years ago

    28 Comments

    71 rounds does sound like alot to normal officers, because when on regular patrol we carry weapons that shoot one bullet at a time. However, on SWAT I am sure that more than one person in this situation was holding a full auto submachine or assault rifle with no less than a 30 round clip, which I'm sure was empty by the end of this. It's real easy to get to 71 rounds that way. I'm just glad they are okay, going in a stack through the door and having a member fall and everything else it's easy to hurt each other by accident too. God Bless and keep them.

  • K9-wallpaper_max50

    K9_91

    about 3 years ago

    19896 Comments

    Good news. Good work team!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    msjayelbee

    about 3 years ago

    612 Comments

    Glad the officers were cleared--only concern here is that the article indicated some of the rounds fired by SWAT were "hitting other homes."--I don't care about the criminal, I just wouldn't have wanted anything to have happened to innocent people. But, all's well that ends well.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    I'm glad they were declared JUSTIFIED. I've never rode with SWAT -- was not allowed for legal issues -- but I have known many SWAT officers and I would not want any of them to be declared not justified. The first Sarge I worked for in AZ was SWAT so I was able to talk with many of them. Every SWAT officer has ONE goal -- EVERYONE goes home and the suspect goes to jail. Never do they want anyone to die. However this Marine did point a LOADED "AR-15" rifle at the officers so they had the right and duty to protect themselves as well as any other person in the area.
    -----------
    We were involved with one SWAT call. A murder suspect barricaded himself in his home (ACROSS the street from our home) in AZ. Swat was called in and the entire area was cleared of all civilians. Sarge was there and told everyone to keep moving as far down the street as possible and not to come back until the officers said it was all clear. The suspect finally gave up after 3 hours of talking. Was found guilty of 2 or 3 counts of murder, something to do with taking his family as hostages and indecent exposure -- came out of the house totally (well you all know what he did).

  • Picture_100_max50

    crowfeeder

    about 3 years ago

    928 Comments

    It is good that the officers were cleared. Thank God no innocents were hurt by stray shots.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    DWBoggs

    about 3 years ago

    32 Comments

    I thought it was a Marine defending his wife, children and home against a home invasion, but I don't know all the circumstances.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    about 3 years ago

    11194 Comments

    Sorry about the "Thumbs Down"; I hit the wrong button. The only thing that bothers me about this is that 71 shots were fired by the officers and only 22 hit their target; since SWAT operators are supposed to be "The best of the best" and train more than the average officer , it would seem logical more rounds should have hit the subject. I am glad they all survived the encounter without being hurt, though. I fully believe they were justified in the use of deadly force in this instance.

  • Herosonpatrol_max50

    BeachAngel

    about 3 years ago

    5892 Comments

    Excellent work Officers; Thank you for all you do out there, "Stay Safe out there Always"

  • Robocop_max50

    the_ANTIDRUG

    about 3 years ago

    96 Comments

    In clarification see- Arizona central, swat shooting, 6/15/11; just goggle it. Like all our constitutional rights, freedom of speech. Helps protect citizens including police. (occasionally from opressive attorneys)

  • 100_1019_max50

    bobska

    about 3 years ago

    660 Comments

    Great Job by the Officers!! Glad they are all safe!!

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