San Jose police: Naked man shot by cops pointed caulking gun

SAN JOSE (KTVU) -- Police said Monday that a naked man who was shot by police last Friday in West San Jose allegedly pointed a  harmless "caulking" gun at officers before he was wounded and suffered from mental issues.

During an afternoon press conference Monday, Police Chief Eddie Garcia identified the suspect as John Bradley Bowles, 53. The man remained at a local hospital, where he was said to be listed in critical condition.

Three police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation into the incident but Garcia said the appeared to have acted within police department guidelines.

"The officers felt they had to use deadly force to save lives," Garcia said.

The three officers, who were not immediately identified, have served on the force for 24 years, 22 years and 21 years.


Garcia said the department has had a prior experience with the suspect and that he had a history of acts that indicated mentally instability. 

A caller first reported the naked man's erratic behavior to police around 1:30 p.m. at Eva Court and Valerie Drive, near San Tomas Park. The man had been chasing an adult and child, police said.

After officers arrived, the man got into a blue Dodge Ram pickup truck, backed out of Eva Court and hit a patrol vehicle and another parked car, police said.

The man led about 10 police vehicles on a 4-mile pursuit, allegedly getting into several vehicle collisions in the process.

Eventually the man sped west down Stevens Creek Boulevard east of Lawrence Expressway before turning into the driveway of the Villa Shopping Center and coming to a stop, police said.

The man did not comply with police commands in their attempts to arrest him and appeared to aim a weapon at the officers, according to police.

The man then revved the engine of the Ram and appeared to be trying to move the truck, police said. At the scene, the Ram appeared to have crashed head-on into the police SUV in the driveway.

Three officers then fired at the man, hitting him at least once. James Shaw, a driver for United Towing who said he witnessed the shooting from across the street, said he heard about 12 gunshots.

No officers were injured. The San Jose Police Department's homicide unit is conducting a joint criminal investigation with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

The officers' body-worn camera footage is being reviewed as part of the investigation, police said.

The Police Department's internal affairs unit, the city attorney's office and the office of the independent police auditor are monitoring the case.

KTVU reporter Jesse Gary and Bay City News contributed to this report.