Family of Caleb Smith plans to sue City of Hayward after deadly police shooting

Body-cam video shows Hayward police boxing in a robbery suspect in a Volvo at a Motel 6 back in March.

Within moments, the suspect rams two unmarked police cars. 

Three officers open fire.

"TAC 3, shots fired. He just drove at me and my partner," one of the officers told a dispatcher.

"As officers approached the car, the driver accelerated, striking police vehicles multiple times. This is when the officer-involved shooting occurred," Hayward Police Chief Toney Chaplin said in a video released by the department.

Caleb Smith, 22, the man driving the Volvo, died.

Police say they suspect Smith was involved in a spree of robberies in which elderly women were confronted when they returned to their cars after a trips to the bank of ATMs.

The same Volvo was seen on surveillance video in the parking lot of a shopping center on Hesperian Boulevard. A man got out of the Volvo, smashed the window of an SUV and robbed a victim sitting inside.

FLASHBACK: Hayward police say smash and grab thieves target women in vehicles after shopping

"This was a completely reckless police shooting from beginning to end, top to bottom," said Adante Pointer, an attorney for Smith's family. Pointer said Smith leaves behind a 3-year-old son.

"The fact that Mr. Smith didn't just give up, the fact that Mr. Smith tried to get away, that in and of itself didn't assure that his family would have to give him a funeral," Pointer said.

Motel surveillance video shows the shooting from a different angle. Police also released cell-phone video of the confrontation. Officers Michael Miller, Dynaton Tran and Chris Suozzo opened fire.

Officer Tran, a six-year department veteran, was among several officers who shot and killed another man a year ago. 

That man, Stoney Ramirez was a person of interest in the shooting death of a homeless man.

Ramirez was killed after police say he, too, rammed officers' cars.

Hayward police policy bars officers from firing at a moving car unless there's an imminent threat from something other than the car. But back in March, the chief said that's not an ironclad rule.

"There are, with every policy, there is exceptions," Chaplin said.

Pointer said he intends to sue Hayward over the Motel 6 shooting. The Alameda County district attorney's office is still reviewing the actions of the officers who shot and killed Smith and Ramirez.