FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Graphic Calif. Police Shooting

Warning: The video features explicit content. A Manteca (Calif.) Police officer has been cleared in the shooting of an unarmed man. The man's attorney released footage from the shooting. Read the full story here.

December 13, 2012

Comments (43)

Displaying 1 - 43 of 43

Rob @ 12/13/2012 6:09 PM

The officer did what he had to do to make it home alive. Exiting a vehicle with a knife drawn is never a good idea.

Capt David-Ret LA County @ 12/13/2012 6:22 PM

Quick and decisive actions.

Deputy068 @ 12/13/2012 6:27 PM

Although I couldn't see the perp with a weapon (video was at a bad angle), I sure wouldn't second guess the LEO on the scene. As far as I can see, he did the right thing (don't shoot them 'til you think the threat has ended - shoot them 'til THEY think the threat has ended!).

Citizen @ 12/13/2012 6:36 PM

What was the infraction, law, or regulation that put these two individuals in a situation that resulted in a homicide?

A human being was killed. A human. A man with parents, friends, perhaps a wife, and children. He was killed in his driveway? Why? What law was serious enough to execute him over? Had he killed someone? Was in the process of killing someone? What?

" One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws"-Ayn Rand

Bill Shakespeare @ 12/13/2012 6:57 PM

Citizen: You asked " What law was serious enough to execute him over? Had he killed someone? Was in the process of killing someone? What? ". The man was shot because he exited a vehicle in a threatening manner, holding a knife and began to approach the officer. Any normal person would conclude that the officer felt his life was in danger. He fired in self defense believing that if he didnt, the suspect would have attacked him and murdered him or caused serious harm to him. Dont exit the car during a traffic stop holding a knife, and you wont get shot. The police dont have the ability to slow time down and take all facts into consideration. They dont have the luxury of second guessing there decisions. They dont have the luxury of assuming - assuming everyone is nice, assuming everyone is not a harm, assuming that they will not die, assuming that the man armed with a knife approaching him is giving up. So yes, he was shot because he was about to kill someone. The officer.

D @ 12/13/2012 7:04 PM

It is an unfortunate situation. Could the officer have possibly done better by disengaging and seeking cover ? MAYBE Should the officer have been cleared of all criminal and civil charges ? The answer is an unqualified YES. The decision to retain the knife was a bad career move.

Tango @ 12/13/2012 8:26 PM

With all due respect the nome de cyber "citizen" matches well with the observation you provide: valid, but definitely from someone who has never faced a situation like this, and hopefully never will.

JJ Golliday @ 12/13/2012 8:29 PM

I served 30 yrs as an officer and I can assure everyone that a knife is a dangerous weapon. For those who do not think so, watch the video about officers surviving edged weapons. If a suspect gets within 21 feet of you it is too late. JJG

Eric @ 12/13/2012 10:35 PM

Citizen, I'm at least as libertarian/objectivist as you are, and that's a ridiculous use of an Ayn Rand quote. Ernesto had plenty of options that didn't involve threatening the life of an LEO. Where's the outrage that a 34 year old didn't have the sense to not resort to violence when confronted by police and an officer who voluntarily puts himself in harm's way now has to live with killing a man who made a habit of making stupid decisions? Sure, it's tragic. Direct your outrage at the person who deserves it.

john kennedy @ 12/14/2012 5:17 AM

i understand adrenaline ,i understand a violent aproach,but he went down on the first shot that stopped him ,the officer emptied his magazine in his back, could have turned with injuries opposed to a death ,i feel bad for the cop ,tough decision.

James @ 12/14/2012 6:50 AM

The video isn't clear, but the officer gave clear commands, he mentioned the knife, and it is interesting to me the officer called the offender by name which means he knew the guy and possibly had some special knowledge of him.

At the risk of sounding like a football replay official, there is nothing in this video to overturn the officer's actions. The only thing that is clear is the offender in NO way appeared to be surrendering. As to the officer continuing to shoot, studies by the Force Science Institute show the decision to STOP shooting can be as delayed as the decision to shoot in the first place. The placement of the bullets aren't an issue here.

David @ 12/14/2012 6:51 AM

I would have to see all the reports, what led up to the call? Was someone's life in immediate danger? That video doesn't tell me much.

David @ 12/14/2012 7:03 AM

I watched it a couple of more times and I realized it was a vehicle stop. Obviously, the officer knew the guy because he called him, "Ernie" - so the officer may have known he had a violent history. That would explain a lot. So maybe the guy was going to run in the house. I think it looked a little premature, maybe I would have liked to stand my ground and see if he took one step toward me or even a half a step, this guy was getting out of the vehicle. Prior knowledge of the suspect would have a lot to do with it. Also, if someone is using a deadly weapon to escape, that does justify the use of deadly force but I don't think the officer was justified under the "immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury" justification, without a little more direct threat to him.

ChiefP @ 12/14/2012 7:20 AM

The cop did not intend to shoot the suspect, facts provided in the vidoe show him clear of that as he had attempted to reholster his weapon prior to seeing the edged weapon. So zero premeditation was involved on the officers part. The shots that were fired were fired to stop the threat and when an officer fires his/her duty weapon we are talking about life and death not "lets wound the person till the give up" its always "lets shoot till the threat is GONE." I am angry the suspect put this officer into this situation and I pray for a quick recovery for him and his family.

ChiefP @ 12/14/2012 7:25 AM

Not sure on the details of the contact the officer made with the suspect. It might have been for warrent service or what ever but unsure. The issue I see (limited info of course) is the suspect known to the officer exited the vehicle with a weapon in hand toward the officer attempting to make the contact. The video shows this part clear.

MrRezister @ 12/14/2012 7:37 AM

Tough call by the officer, but I believe he made the right decision. If an officer is ordering you out of your vehicle and instead you grab a weapon, it is the duty of that officer to reasonably presume that you have the intention of harming someone with said weapon. Officer shot until the threat was stopped, as is appropriate.
If I was there, then I would have no authority to pull into the offender's yard and order him out of his vehicle, so my response would be to retreat into my car. If the man posed a threat to me, I would drive away. Officer is under no such obligation.

Juan 10-13 @ 12/14/2012 8:10 AM

This is what we are trained and entrusted to do at a split nano second. I've lived with my incident and pray the LEO will work through his. The unfortunate bad guy made the fatal decision which HE caused to effect the end result. This was a real life incident graphically depicting what happens when a bad guy fails to comply with a lawful order and arms himself with a deadly weapon.

rob @ 12/14/2012 11:02 AM

Maybe I am confused, but I don't see a knive, and the title says the the person who lost his life, was unarmed.

Rob @ 12/14/2012 11:27 AM

You can make it out in his right hand when he exits the vehicle.

PRO-LEO @ 12/17/2012 9:06 PM

So what? Good Riddance. He deserved what he got.

jason @ 12/18/2012 6:31 AM

YOUR kidding right,,LIKE this COP really needed to shoot this guy,,,,KNIFE ??? THREAT from 20 feet away,,,,OKAY,,,THIS is WHY people HATE LAW ENFORCEMENT,,,becaue they can JUSTIFY anything they do,,,INCLUDING MURDER,,,,

DAD @ 12/18/2012 6:36 AM

ARE you KIDDING ME ,,this looks SO FAKE,,and whats up witjh the like 10 shots,,,,GET REAL PEOPLE,,THEY just put this CRAP here to BAIT YOU,,,

bman @ 12/18/2012 8:44 AM

Jason, obviously you have never been taught the dangers of a knife. Go ask any knife fighter if he will intentionally get into a knife fight. They will all tell you that you will get cut if you let someone get even remotely close to you with a knife. On top of that, he is a parolee which means a felon that had do something serious enough to land him in prison. People practice knife skills in prison in case you didnt know. I hope for your sake, especially given your mindset, that you never face someone with a knife who is intent on doing you harm.

Cop @ 12/18/2012 9:54 AM

Jason, you need to read up on edged weapons. After you do, you'd realize just how dangerous knives can be even from 20 feet away.....

Marshal @ 12/19/2012 7:18 AM

Not sure why the stop kind of seems that the officer knew the guy and possible he had a warrant and that is why the contact. The officer put his weapon away until he saw a knife. And for all that didn't see the knife and claim there wasn't one I would like to know where you got your x-ray vision glasses to see through the truck to tell if there was a knife in his hand. As for the number of shots, I have trained many officers that during a training scenario had no idea how many shots they fired. I know it sounds bad but with the stress of it you don't really keep track. As for the morons that don't think a knife is dangerous up to 21 feet, why don't you give someone a knife and give it a try. If they know what they are doing you won't be around to talk crap about what you don't know about. Even if someone can draw their gun and fire a person with a knife 21 feet or closer will stab you. Also, there isn't enough in this video to show what happeded after or where the knife was found. Get your facts straight before showing how stupid you are.

Paul Rodriguez Ontiveros @ 12/20/2012 9:16 AM

The officer was aware of Ernie's violent history and he acted promptly and decidedly when Ernie did not comply, ...fearing for his life. I am a disabled and retired police detective who was permanently injured because I hesitated. I'm lucky, I'm alive. But my family has suffered the consequences with me. Some of you citizens have no clue because you've never done the job. I hope you never have to be placed in this position. For the idiot who said to wound him? You don't shoot to wound people. You use a gun when there is no other alternative. Besides, if Ernie had shot back he might have hit any innocent bystander or neighbor or even a school. The bad guy lost, and the officer protected the public appropriately.

CA Dep @ 12/22/2012 12:04 PM

Great job by that officer for being so aware of his officer safety and NOT non-nonchalantly handling this incident...which may have brought a about a different ending in this violent confrontation...such as an EOW training video for LEOs to view if the officer had hesitated in his using lethal force. For many of us in LE, we know how quickly someone can assault us with a takes only seconds for someone as far as 20 ft. away to be within our protective personal space to put an LEO in a life threatening/serious bodily injury situation. In the amount of time it takes to draw your weapon from its holster, those tenths of a second can be the difference between life and death for an LEO. And sometimes, even if getting rounds off at the suspect and hitting your target threat is successful, it does not mean that the suspect's adrenaline or if they're under the influence of a narcotic (ie. PCP), means the attack is over after being shot. Many officers have been seriously injured (attempt murder on PO) or murdered by dangerous and violent people who are armed with "just a knife." That knife is just as effective in killing a person as a firearm would be.

X NYC TPD @ 12/24/2012 4:16 PM

I unerstand the officer shooting because the perpetrator did not comply and pulled a knife... but there were several shots while the perp was on the ground including at least one that entered his back. Once he was down and did not get up the threat was neutralized. I think it was a tad excessive. If after going down the suspect moved again toward the officer, who had maintained a safe distance, I believe then he had time to ire again without injury to himself.

Terry @ 12/26/2012 10:50 PM

With the risk of sounding unsimpathetic, bet the perp will not be out trying to stick another officer. Hope other perps learned from this one.
Hate to have to shoot anyone but come to work healthy plan to go home that way.

William 322 @ 1/1/2013 7:54 PM

The Officer just doing his J-O-B..... HOOAH ! Bravo Zulu !

david @ 1/1/2013 8:32 PM

Better hope Obama or Holder does not see this or they might try to take away your guns. The police in the UK do not have guns. Maybe the perp was just on his way into the home to cut a trukey. Don't have all the information here and if there is ever a trial on use of force the jury may not get all the truth. God bless you all and to a better 2013

Bob@Az. @ 1/1/2013 10:52 PM

x nyc tpd: Never been in a close encounter? Ask someone who has as to how many rounds they fired and you'll find damn few can tell you. Glad the Officr is OK and hope the terroist hackers get nailed and land in general pop. Blues, Stay Safe.

joel @ 1/2/2013 1:53 AM

Justified shooting!!!

Rob @ 1/2/2013 8:32 AM

A perp on the ground can still draw and fire an hidden handgun. If a perp is carrying one weapon, there's a good chance he's carrying a second weapon, too. Cops can't assume good intentions on the part of violent criminals. This shooting was unfortunate, but legally and morally righteous.

Bruce @ 1/2/2013 3:19 PM

I have been a firearms instructor for 30 years, I have studied knife fighting techniques for as long, edged weapons are no joke! Do you get out of the car with a knife when LEO's are ordering you to get out of the vehicle with your hands up? Don’t forget the LEO has a family and possibly wife and children too. I don’t know for sure but I am pretty positive they were waiting for Ernie to come home because there was a warrant or minimum he was a person of interest, the officer knew his name because he had most likely had many prior contacts with Ernie (Parolee), he holstered his weapon which tells me that the officer thought Ernie was going to be compliant probably based on prior interactions, he should have dropped the knife, Officer gets a big thumbs up from me.

John Russell @ 1/3/2013 5:41 AM

This is exactly WHY everybody is arming up I never travel with out my BACK UP MAN with full auto in case POS COP like this opens up on me WE have sworn solem oath to protect each other to the death --SICK as this is... another MURDER BY POLICE in crap hole CALIF> PS this is exactly everybody what FEINSTEIN has planned for you all in CALIF..."executions" ...your choice reason I live where there is no GESTAPO MURDERS but armed citizens and I fell safe and alive! OH NOTICE GESTAPO I have no fear of you knowing who I AM???We handle scum like you in OH with no impunity!

John Russell @ 1/3/2013 5:47 AM

F ALL YOU MURDER cowards this was flat out an execution......I hope people see what you are and who you serve and start CIVIL WAR with you for this? ..seems being a COP gives a right to execute well no wonder GANG BANGERS arm up if they were more pumped up on Vitamins and not CRACK OR DOPE they would war on you..sad and sick! This easily could have been handled millions of other ways unless this was some sicko serial murderer!

Mitch Tanner @ 1/4/2013 9:55 AM

He got out with a knife in his hand. I will repeat that. He's got out with a knife in his hand! cops and cop cars sirens and lights I assume pulled in behind him and he decides to hop out holding a knife?! I would have shot. Maybe several times until I can incapacitate him. People tend to miss an awful lot when under extreme stress or fire a few more times than necessary but remember the suspect caused his own death here.

brad @ 1/29/2013 7:37 PM

If you watch the video again it is obvious that the officer was waiting for this truck to come through this intersection and the officer called the man by name. So I'm sure this man did something and was wanted for said crime.

J @ 2/1/2013 2:56 PM

John are a POS yourself...arm up all u want, there's always a few of us waiting for guys like you...

victor @ 2/8/2013 12:23 PM

good job!

LAK @ 2/20/2013 4:09 PM

John Russell...another big-talker that couldnt cut doing this job. Stay behind your keyboard tough guy and leave the real work to us. Probably in your mom's basement as we speak.

Todd hyde @ 7/2/2013 10:56 PM

That LE officer is a pussy- I invite you for all expense paid trip to okc - bring some cuffs- hook me up and shoot my dog- YOU WILL go home in a casket to your widow.PERIOD.........If Police Mag is weak enough to delete this post then they can also come along for the ride.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Videos

Police Magazine