Gilroy — According to the Santa Cara County District Attorney’s Office, a Gilroy police officer acted in “lawful self-defense” when he shot and killed a 40-year-old man during a gun battle in the downtown area last year.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Baker wrote in the early hours of the morning of September 8, 2021, David Lopez “tempted” Officer Catalina Fred at the US Post Office at Fourth Avenue and Aigleberry Street on the pretext that he wanted to surrender. . The Page report was released Friday afternoon. Instead, Lopez “ambushed her,” he wrote.
According to the report, Lopez fired twice in the direction of Freud. The gun jammed, and he threw it aside and pulled out another pistol. Freud opened fire and Lopez tried to shoot her with another gun, but it was not loaded. Then he retreated behind a cement pole, and looked like he was trying to reload the pistol.
“Officer Fred, believing that Lopez would kill him if he had a chance to reload, returned fire and struck Lopez in the head with a single bullet, killing him.” Baker wrote.
At the time of the confrontation, Lopez was wanted on August 31, 2021 for attempted murder of a man. Lopez asked the victim, identified in the report as John Doe, if he wanted to search for the man who attacked Doe several months earlier. Reportedly, when Doe refused, Lopez shot her a total of five times.
The next day a no-bell warrant was issued for Lopez’s arrest. A week later, he called 911 and told the Gilroy police dispatcher that he was at the post office and prepared to surrender. Baker wrote in his report that Lopez assured the dispatcher that he was not armed.
“The dispatcher again asked Lopez if he was armed,” Baker wrote. “He replied, ‘I wouldn’t have called you if I were armed.'”
According to the report, Fred was the first officer to arrive at the scene and immediately came under fire.
Baker wrote, in an interview with Gilroy Police Detective Christopher Silva, that Fred felt “terrified” after closing his eyes with Lopez and hitting his patrol vehicle with gunfire. Fried also told Silva that she did not have the opportunity to use de-escalation techniques because she was immediately under fire when she arrived.
Reportedly, Fried’s body-worn camera did not activate until he took cover behind his patrol vehicle, capturing only his third, fourth and fifth shots. However, a dash cam in the patrol vehicle caught his approach and shooting.
Baker wrote, “Under the facts of the case and applicable law, Officer Fried reasonably believed that he was required to use lethal force to protect himself from being killed by David Lopez, and that such force was necessary.” And was fair,” Baker wrote.
“As a result, no criminal liability attaches to him,” he continued. “Officer Fried’s actions were both legitimate and just.”