Family of man killed by Hayward police demands answers, new approach to suspects in a mental crisis

The family of a 29-year-old man shot and killed by Hayward Police in November are demanding answers. 

They say police have not answered their questions about the details of the incident. On Friday night, relatives held a vigil in front of Hayward City Hall to honor the memory of Agustin Gonsalez. 

The vigil lasted more than two hours.

Braving the chill of a January night, family, friends and co-workers sang and prayed 
to honor the memory of Agustin. He was shot and killed by police officers about two months ago.

"My cousin was shot 13 times...13 times," said Cynthia Nunes as she addressed the dozens who attended the vigil. 

Before the vigil, his parents sat down for an interview with KTVU'S Amber Lee. They want to know why police shot their son instead of using their tasers. 

"I don't feel like my son should have died that night. He should have been able to be talked down. I just think there are other ways that things could have happened," said Karla Gonsalez. 

On November 15, police responded to 911 call reporting that a man was acting erratically and brandishing a knife. Police said Agustin walked toward officers and refused to obey orders to drop the object in his hand which was later determined to be a razor blade.

"We want to know what happened. Did they even give him a chance?" said Agustin Gonsalez, his father who shares the same name. 

A police department spokesman told KTVU there is body cam video of the incident, but no decision has been made whether it will be released, because it may taint the three separate investigations that are being conducted by the police department and Alameda County District Attorney's Office. 

Police said the situation evolved in a matter of seconds and that the investigations will help provide accurate and thorough answers. 

"We feel like our son should still be alive. It was dealt with in the wrong way," said Agustin Gonsalez. 

He says the killing of his son by police is especially painful given that his son's grandfather served as a reserve officer for Hayward Police for 20 years. 

Gonsalez says his family was a part of the Hayward Police family. 

Agustin's mother says her son was coping with stress and depression. He was a loving father to two children and worked at Tesla painting vehicles. 

Agustin's parents are calling on the police department to hold their officers accountable and to change the way they respond to someone in a mental crisis. 

"I don't want another other family to feel this way, the numbness, the emptiness that I have. I go to work. I try to have a smile on my face but it's just so hard," said Karla Gonsalez. 

The family plans to file a lawsuit.

Hayward Police said the officers involved are back on the job, pending the outcome of the investigations that may be completed by March. 

At that time, police said they hope to be able to provide answers to the family and the community.