The Gilroy Police Department has released officers’ video camera footage from the Sept. 8 fatal shooting involving 40-year-old David Lopez.
The footage from the involved officer’s body and dash cameras was released Oct. 7 in an 8-minute Youtube video posted by the Gilroy Police Department. The video includes footage of the brief exchange of gunfire on Eigleberry Street outside the Gilroy Post Office between Lopez and the first officer who approached the area to meet with him late in the evening.
In an apparent ambush attempt, Lopez shot first as the officer approached in her patrol vehicle, according to the video. One of the rounds hit the officer’s car.
The officer exited the vehicle and returned fire as Lopez discarded the firearm and pulled out another handgun, according to the video released by Gilroy PD. The officer fired multiple rounds, the last of which struck and fatally wounded Lopez.
Gilroy Police had acquired a warrant for Lopez’ arrest after identifying him as a suspect in an Aug. 31 shooting on Wren Avenue that left a victim seriously injured. About 2:30am Sept. 8, Lopez called 911 and told the dispatcher he was available to meet with officers outside the post office, located at the corner of Fourth and Eigleberry streets.
Lopez told the dispatcher he was intoxicated and unarmed, according to a recording of the 911 call, which is also included in the Youtube video. When the dispatcher asked if he was armed, Lopez replied, “No, of course I’m not. Come on. I wouldn’t be calling you if I was armed. Why would I do that?”
The dispatcher kept Lopez on the phone while police approached the post office on Eigleberry Street, the video shows. The first responding officer saw Lopez standing next to the building and directed him to lie on the ground over the patrol vehicle’s public address system.
Lopez did not lie down, and opened fire while hiding behind a concrete pillar on the Eigleberry side of the post office, according to the video.
Lopez and the officer exchanged a total of seven gunshots, and the gunfire lasted less than one minute, according to police. At one point, Lopez aimed his handgun at another officer who approached from the opposite direction during the shootout. The first officer continued firing until she struck Lopez.
Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
No officers or bystanders were injured.
The officer-involved shooting is still under investigation by the Gilroy PD Investigations Bureau and Internal Affairs Division. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is also investigating the shooting. The County Medical Examiner-Coroner is also conducting an investigation to determine Lopez’ cause of death.
Gilroy Police stated that the officer involved in the shooting fired at Lopez because she feared for her life when he began shooting in her direction.