District Attorney Jeff Rosen declined to file charges against a county sheriff deputy who shot and killed a 61-year-old woman described as "crazy, evil, pissed, possessed" the night of the fatal encounter.
Andrea Naharro-Gionet had a history of mental instability, according to the DA's report, and she had been actingÂ erraticÂ in the days preceding herÂ encounter with law enforcement Nov. 16, 2013. Her husband,Â Camie Gionet,Â told investigators thatÂ Naharro-Gionet had been talking to people who weren't there, postingÂ nonsensical rantsÂ on Facebook and, hours before she was shot and killed,Â had attempted to stab him with a knife when he tried to enterÂ their San Jose home.
When three deputies from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office arrivedÂ at anÂ apartment complex on Cleveland Avenue shortly after midnight, they foundÂ Naharro-Gionet holding a guitar in one hand and a kitchen knife with a five-inch blade in the other. The DA's reportÂ saysÂ Naharro-Gionet stood five-feet-tall and weighed 160 pounds.
According to DeputyÂ Jennifer Galanâ€”who fired three shots that struckÂ Naharro-Gionet in the neck, chest and abdomenâ€”the suspect was yelling things like,Â "What the fuck are you going to do?" and "Why are you here?" Galan had been with the Sheriff's Office for three years at the time of the shootingÂ and had training to deal with people with mental health issues. She was joined on the call by deputies Fernando Espinosa and Joseph Brown.
After being told to drop the weapon,Â Naharro-Gionet reportedly advancedÂ on the officers, who shielded themselves with patrol cars. At a certainÂ point, Naharro-GionetÂ was able to get in between the officers, with Brown on one side and Galan and Espinosa on the other.
The report states: "Deputy Galan recognized this created a crossfireÂ situation and told Deputy Brown to 'get the fuck out of the way.'"
This command got the attention ofÂ Naharro-Gionet, who then turned onÂ Galan and Espinosa.
Deputy Galan reportedly toldÂ Espinosa, "Fuck, we're gonna have to shoot her."
Espinosa responded, "I don't want to."
Deputy Brown decided toÂ run behind another car and get out of the way, and deputiesÂ Galan and Espinosa retreated back toward the apartment whileÂ Naharro-Gionet advanced. Espinosa then stepped off to the side, between two cars, while Galan retreatedÂ further back.Â Naharro-Gionet reportedly came withinÂ four feet of Galan and raised the knife, which is whenÂ the deputy fired three shots.
Following the shooting, Deputy Brown stayed withÂ Naharro-Gionet while deputies Galan and Espinosa searched the home. They found marijuana in the apartment, and an autopsy found traces of the drugÂ in Naharro-Gionet's system.
"The Deputies responded and attempted to resolve the situation through voice commands and thenÂ drawn weapons," states the DA's report. "Naharro-Gionet did not respond. Instead she advanced on the Deputies, chasedÂ them into the street, around patrol cars and back towards her residence, separating the threeÂ Deputies and leaving Deputy Galan with nowhere to retreat. Naharro-Gionet was within 4 to 6Â feet of Deputy Galan who had run out of room to back away, when Naharro-Gionet raised theÂ knife to chest level. Deputy Galan ordered her to drop the knife one more time and Naharro-GionetÂ refused and continued her advance. Preventing injuries to herself and her fellowÂ Deputies, Deputy Galan fired her gun three times in self-defense."
Naharro-Gionet's family filed twoÂ wrongful death lawsuits last yearÂ against the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The complaints stated that Deputy Galan's use of lethal force was unnecessary. Naharro-Gionet's husband, Camie, gave an interview to Silicon Valley De-Bug last year talking about his late wife'sÂ life. The Mercury News reports he has sinceÂ died, and posts on Naharro-Gionet's Facebook page note as much.
This is the third officer-involved shooting report released by the DA in the last month. All of the reports involved suspects who were believed to have mental health issues. In May, a San Jose State police officer was found to have broken no lawsÂ in the shooting of a "mentally unstable" man who was carrying a saw blade. Last week, a San Jose police officer was cleared in the shooting death of mentally ill teenagerÂ who was found to be carrying a power drill thatÂ officers mistook forÂ a gun.
In all of the DA's officer-involved shooting reports going back to 2011,Â no officers have been found to have violated any laws.