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Video: Ariz. SWAT Officers Cleared In Marine's Shooting

June 14, 2011  | 

The Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff's SWAT officers who fatally shot a 26-year-old former Marine who pointed a rifle at them have been exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Tactical officers fired 71 shots at Jose Guerena, while serving a warrant in a drug investigation at his Tucson-area home. Guerena was at home with his wife and two children at the time, and may have said, "I've got something for you" to officers who entered the house.

Of the 71 shots, 22 struck Guerena.

A report by Chief Criminal Deputy Attorney David Berkman concluded that Guerena pointed the rifle at officers, who "needed to take immediate action to stop the deadly threat against them."

Source: KGUN9

Watch raw footage of the raid:

VIDEO: SWAT Team's Fatal Raid of Ariz. Marine

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Dy. @ 6/14/2011 8:38 PM

Well, I'd still like to know whether this veteran was an actual dope dealer. Sounds like they screwed up from the first article. If my door got kicked in they would find me with my AR at the ready as well.77 shots and 22 hits. Can you say range time? Only luck that kept the wife and 2 kids safe. Very bad call from the start. The 'swat' members are jst lucky he didn't take some of them with him bc he very well should have.

Morning Eagle @ 6/14/2011 9:10 PM

Sorry, I am as strong a supporter of law enforcement actions to protect themselves as anyone you will ever find but from what these sketchy reports say, there is something here that does not smell right. And 77 shots with only 22 hits? I am surprised they were able to put a Marine down with a wimpy barrage like that - I thought SWAT teams were supposed to be well trained but that is a ridiculous lack of fire control discipline, especially as they were NOT being fired at. Of course the kid was a former Marine so maybe the SWAT boys were justified in what looks on the surface like pure panic on their part, especially when his wife and children were in the house. Police Magazine, a follow up on this story would be good because this leaves a lot of unanswered questions. were they even at the right house to begin with? Was the target actually involved in narcotics? Was any evidence of narcotics discovered in the house? And I don't trust much of what attorneys say whether they are DA's or defense types.

In this case my sympathies are with the former Marine's widow and children and I hope those SWAT guys really know in their hearts that they did the right thing as several of them must have opened fire once the ball opened.

J @ 6/14/2011 9:24 PM

Armchair SWAT/Police critics will always opine the number of shots fired ect. Nobody even bothers reading half of your response when you ask dumb questions and ridicule a significant emotional event that you don't even know all the facts about. My pointman and I could fire over 70 shots in the first several seconds of an entry. Has anyone of you heard of automatic weapon fire?

Jon Fonda @ 6/14/2011 11:09 PM

My contacts over at Pima County Sheriff's tell me this was a monumental FUBAR and there was no solid evidence of any kind on the deceased. Their informant who ID'd the decease as a bad guy has recanted his allegations. BTW, there is no camera footage supporting the entry team's allegation the deceased pointed his AR at them. With totally one=sided reports submitted with zero evidence to the contrary, of course the Pima County's Attorney Office was glad to conclude that all wrong doing was done by the deceased. Remember fellow officers, all it takes is for an entry team to erroneously enter your house and mistakenly fire upon you or I in their haste to act on bad informant intel or a bad entry conducted on the wrong address.

Mac @ 6/15/2011 12:45 AM

Those lamenting the number of rounds fired are idiots who don't have the slightest clue, and usually turn up in these threads as experts on nothing more than watching Hollywood movies and perhaps plinking at the local range.....that having been said, there are some legitimately troubling issues with this story as it pertains to whether this gentleman was ACTUALLY involved in illegal activity.......was he, as alleged, a member of a group of individuals that specialized in armed holdups of drug dealers? Or was he the victim of a lying informant and overzealoused enforcement? Regardless, by the time the team was inside the residence, and he pointed the weapon, all parties were irreversibly committed to their respective courses of action.

marmedic @ 6/15/2011 2:07 AM

Not being there and knowing the officers have to defend themselves at all times, then if the legal system said it was justified then I guess it was. I would say after watching the video and reading the article, 70 shots fired with 22 hits knowing that a wife and kids are present, sounds like they may need to conduct some range work? As I teach minimal force to end the confrontation, which one of the 22 rounds stopped the suspect? Which of the 70 may have penetrated through the walls, since they were using long rifles, and hurt or killed an innocent. I have the utmost respect for all LE officials and being on a TAC team is even harder but the expectations of the public are also higher.

Fed Cop @ 6/15/2011 6:46 AM

I love reading the comments of those people who are not cops, didn't see the incident, and making judgements for the officers involved. Everone is focusing on the 70 shot and 22 hits on the one suspect as being unjustified or over-kill. You need to talk to the members of the Oakland PD SRT when 4 officers were killed by a lone gunman with a "rifle". All officers are trained to "end the threat". You don't wait until one of yours is shot before you open fire, and you don't wait to see which officer shoots first. They probably saw the weapon, and more than one officer opened fire with their automatic weapons. But I forget, the TV movie SWAT teams only have one officer shooting, and it's one shot in the shoulder, and then the car blows up.

Rick @ 6/15/2011 9:39 AM

The main points seem to be whether the team assaulted an actual dope dealer and why they only hit 22 of 77 rounds fired. The follow up investigation should reveal whether the suspect was a dope peddler. The SWAT team definately needs to get some range time, expand their live fire drills and possibly get a better instructor or an additional instructor. The guy that commented about automatic fire needs to consider whether a SWAT team needs to use automatic fire where innocents are in the building and how that fire is controlled, because it wasn't here.

KuffMUp @ 6/15/2011 11:42 AM

If you watch the connected videos, you will find that his sister-in-law was killed in a home invasion robbery. Most home invasion robberies occur due to drug activity (at least in my state). Bad guys don't go gunning down home owners for their flatscreen TV. That in and of itself leads credence to the drug dealer portion. As to the number of shots: if you yourself have never been in a shooting, don't Monday morning quarterback. I have never been in a shooting but several of my fellow officers have. It is WAY different than a day at the range. You shoot till the threat is no longer a threat. Those shots were fired in 7 seconds. It takes several seconds for the body to fall from an upright position. This isn't Hollywood where you flail back and blood sprays everywhere. If they are upright, they are still a threat. Go to Dr. Lewinski's website and look at his research on OIS.

John Russell @ 6/16/2011 6:22 PM

Why do I foind this made up ---think it;s Pure BS who sits around with any weapon just waiting for bunch of PARA Military cops to bust your door in and start shooting in the morning or even in the afternoon??? I can understaden this senario in some escaped Convict or maybe some Mad Militia man or group butthis just does not JIVE...Why would this guy firefight over dope?

Tom Ret LPD @ 7/8/2011 9:20 PM

Whether it is 1 or 71 rounds fired, the main question is whether the officers were in fear of their lives which necessitated lethal force. They apparently had information that the situation required a swat response that could or should not be handled by uniform patrol. Even if the officers acted on false information, they are not at fault if they acted in good faith. It is a tragedy if the deceased was an innocent home owner who was only trying to defend his home and family against unknown armed subjects making entry. On the other hand he might not be so
innocent and threatened to shoot officers that he should have recognized as such. With no other information, I would give the benefit of any doubt to the officers as I don't believe that they went there to blast everything in sight but acted quickly to stop a real or perceived lethal threat. Wether they could have done this or that prior to the shooting is pure speculation and probably Monday morning quarterbacking. I am aware of a case where a mental female pulled a fake pistol on officers in Portland. This occurred at night and the officers acted instinctively and shot her numerous times. The female was situated such that the rounds striking her did not put her down. There was a lot of criticism over the number of rounds fired. I had dealt with this female on several occasion prior to the shooting and always approached her with caution. She obviously committed suicide by cop.
The number of rounds fired needs to get the job done without harming any innocents which apparently was the case in Portland and in this case.

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