Body-cam videos released in deadly shooting of fugitive by San Jose police

Newly-released body-camera videos show undercover San Jose police officers shooting a wanted fugitive within seconds of seeing him running at an apartment complex.

The suspect, David Tovar Jr., 27, of Gilroy died at a hospital.

The videos show three plainclothes officers firing their rifles at Tovar in January.

"Hands up! Put your hands up!" one officer yells, moments before they open fire.

Tovar was shot as he was running on a second-floor balcony.

"Shots fired, shots fired. Suspect down on second floor," an officer reported on the police radio.

Police said Tovar had a distinct advantage over officers because of his elevated position. Authorities released freeze-frame shots showing Tovar appearing to reach in his waistband and later holding an object in his hand.

Sgt. Christian Camarillo, a department spokesman, said one officer believed Tovar was pulling the butt of a handgun from his jacket. No gun was found.

Instead, "a black and silver cell phone was recovered on the ground next to Tovar," Camarillo said. "A screwdriver was found in his pocket."

Police said Tovar was wanted in a South Bay crime spree, including shootings and a homicide. Authorities said he also had a history of being armed and aggressive toward law enforcement.

"San Jose police officers joined a multi-agency effort to connect the dots and apprehend a prolific and increasingly violent person victimizing the South Bay," Camarillo said.

Sajid Khan, a Santa Clara County deputy public defender who monitors police conduct, blasted the officers for opening fire, saying they were essentially hunting Tovar.

"It was a really upsetting and infuriating video to watch," Khan said. "I don't know that Mr. Tovar could have done anything to save his own life."

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Khan said the officers executed an unarmed man as if they were in a video game.

"He had a right to be arrested, he had a right to be brought to court and informed of his charges and had the opportunity to have a lawyer," Khan said.

The officers who fired their weapons have not been identified. The shooting remains under investigation by police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, which will determine whether the officers will face criminal charges.