Family, police release videos of shooting by Hayward officers

Hayward police and the family of a man shot and wounded by officers released videos Thursday and widely diverging accounts of what led up to the shooting.

Cell phone video shows 61-year-old Eric Rosalia being confronted by officers outside his home on Naples Street on Wednesday.

Within moments, officers Tased him and opened fire. 

"I don't think they were justified because they used excessive force," said Maria Martinez, Rosalia's niece, who recorded the shooting with her cell phone. "I mean, they could have just Tased him."

She added, "It wasn't necessary for them to shoot more than five times when my uncle wasn't even lunging at them or posing a serious threat to their lives, as they're trying to claim."

But at a news conference, Hayward Police Chief Toney Chaplin showed body-cam video showing a shirtless Rosalia cursing at police, going into his garage and then emerging with a knife in one of his hands.

"Put it down! Put it down!' officers yelled at Rosalia.

The chief said officers shot Rosalia because he moved toward them with the knife.

"The officer-involved shooting took place after the male subject armed himself with a knife," Chaplin said.

The incident began minutes earlier when police say Rosalia had been acting erratically a few blocks away near the corner of Sleepy Hollow and Bahama avenues. Residents called police saying a man was chasing someone and banging on doors.

When officers arrived, they say Rosalia took off on his motorcycle and was shot after crashing it outside his own house.

"You guys got tasers and you guys have tasers for a reason not to use your gun to shoot people," said Rosalia's nephew Elias Jimenez.

But the chief said officers reacted differently based on where they were standing.

"It's just a perception thing at times, what they perceive as danger," Chaplin said. "If I'm off standing to the side, I may perceive something a little different than the person standing directly in front of me."

The chief also said Rosalia acknowledged his role in the incident.

"He admitted to retrieving the knife and lunging at the officer with the knife. He apologized and said basically, it was his fault," Chaplin said.

Rosalia was treated at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and then taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he was booked on suspicion of assault.

The shooting happened a week after Hayward police shot and killed a suspect accused of fatally shooting a 65-year-old homeless man.