Jennifer Vasquez was fatally shot on Christmas Day after four SJPD officers fired 40 rounds into her car, also injuring her passenger
Bodycam footage captures the moment police shoot dead unarmed Vasquez, 24, inside her car in San Jose, California on Christmas morning
Police at the time claimed ‘a woman turned a stolen car into a weapon’, after mistaking her for an attempted murder suspect
Cops fired 40 rounds at Vasquez and her passenger Linda Carmona-Bruno, 28, after a nine-mile high speed car chase that began just after 2am on Dec 25, 2018
Vasquez was shot 14 times in the fusilade, of which six were head wounds.
Despite the error as officers are still cleared of wrongdoing the District Attorney’s office cleared the officers of all wrongdoing on Friday
Footage shows officers demanding Vasquez get out of the car and threatening to shoot her before she rams a patrol care and they open fire
The driver police said, tried to drive between a pole and a cop car before her vehicle stopped after crashing into a fence, she was then shot by the officers
Police use of deadly force in the incident has drawn strong criticism from rights groups – strengthened by the fact that Vasquez was neither armed, nor was she connected to either of the shootings cops were investigating
Victim: Jennifer Vasquez was shot and killed by San Jose police on Dec 25, 2018, after a reported nine-mile chase across the city following an earlier shooting
To the consternation of a bereaved Bay area family, the Santa Clara County District attorney’s office on Friday ruled the police involved fatal shooting of a female motorist on Christmas morning, justified.
Police in San Jose released body camera footage showing four offcers unleash a hail of bullets at the vehicle driven by 24-year-old woman after they mistook her for an attempted murder suspect. The video has been released after the killing was ruled lawful.
The Santa Clara DAs office on Friday cleared the officers of any legal wrongdoing over the death of Jennifer Vazquez last on Christmas morning.
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The 78-second clip was released alongside a 62-page document by Deputy District Attorney David Boyd, which concluded that police did not know and had no reason to suspect they had the wrong person.
‘Under the facts…the use of deadly force…was a lawful response to an apparent armed fleeing felon who reasonably appeared to pose a great threat to public safety,’ Boyd wrote.
Officers fired 40 rounds at Vasquez and her passenger, 28-year-old Linda Carmona-Bruno after a nine-mile high-speed car chase that began just after 2am on December 25. Bruno was also injured in the shooting.
Police arriving on the scene of a double-shooting in San Jose said they had been told by a witness that the vehicle involved in the shooting was leaving the area, according to a news release from the DA’s office.
San Jose Police chief Eddie Garcia during a press conference on dec 27, defended the officers at the time, saying: ” No, they weren’t the suspects in the shooting, but had they not been in a stolen vehicle, had they not led police officers on a high-speed pursuit, had they not tried to ram officers cars, we wouldn’t be here today”
Bodycam footage released by the San Jose District Attorney’s office shows Vasquez ramming into a police patrol car on Christmas morning
The witness then pointed officers in the direction of a Toyota Camry, which following a license plate check was found to have been reported stolen.
During the pursuit, a supervisor advised over the police radio that this incident might have been related to another shotgun shooting in the city two hours before.
When officers attempted to stop the Camry, the driver ‘refused to yield and led police on a high-speed, nine-mile chase – at one point driving against traffic without the headlights on,’ according to the news release.
The Camry finally crashed into a fence next to an elementary school, and was boxed in by police cars.
The bodycam footage shows the frenzied moments in the run up to the shooting, in which Vasquez drove forward and back in an attempt to dislodge the car from the fence, before ramming into a parked patrol car.
During the shot clip, an officer is heard shouting: ‘You’re going to get shot, get out of the vehicle…I’m going to shoot you if you don’t stop.’
‘If she comes at me I’m going to shoot her.’
Vasquez died in a hail of police gunfire trapped in a white Toyota Camry after a nine-mile high-speed chase after the car was entangled in a fence next to an elementary school where it was surrounded by police patrol cars
Carmona-Bruno sitting in the passenger seat, was injured in the gunfire and treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The case has drawn strong criticism from residents and rights groups for the use of deadly force; the Santa Clara County coroner’s office said Vazquez was hit fourteen times, of which six were head wounds.
The outcry was strengthened by the fact Vasquez had no connection to either of the shootings, nor was she armed.
In the 78-second footage officers can be heard yelling at Vasquez to get out of the car and threatening to shoot her unless she obeyed orders
San Jose Police chief Eddie Garcia defended the officers at the time, saying they did not want their Christmas Day to end up like that.
‘No, they weren’t the suspects in the shooting, but had they not been in a stolen vehicle, had they not led police officers on a high-speed pursuit, had they not tried to ram officers cars, we wouldn’t be here today,’ he said during a press conference.
‘Given the circumstances… it was reasonable and justified for the officers to feel that their lives were in danger.
‘Had these individuals just complied with the officers, would have stopped, this would have ended up very differently.’
Jennifer Vasquez [L-R] was hit 14 times, six of the shots to the head, after four San Jose police officers fired around 40 rounds into her car on Dec 25 following a high-speed chase. The DA’s office, to the family’s consternation has just ruled the shooting justified
In his report on the incident, DA Boyd also played down the case of mistaken identity.
‘If they were wrong and they knew they were wrong, that’d be a different issue, but reasonable mistakes are still just that,’ he said.
Vasquez’ family have vowed they would ‘get justice’ for the 24-year-old.
The page described her as a ‘vibrant and beautiful soul’ with an infectious smile. ‘Jenny was full of life, with a high esteem and value for the community,’ it reads. ‘We will get justice!’