Monday’s shooting of homicide suspect Richard Jacquez brought this year’s officer-involved shooting total to eight—half of which took place in a nine-day span this month.
San Jose police had been seeking Jacquez as one of three suspects in the Aug. 13 slaying of Christopher Maxwell Wren. A statement released by the department on Tuesday indicated that Jacquez was considered to be “possibly in possession of a TEC-9 assault weapon,” and that he may have been planning to kill a woman with him.
After a car chase that led to Kirkhaven Court, Jacquez fled and was pursued on foot. As he attempted to break into a house, Officer Jacob Morris, a 15-year veteran, shot him twice—once in the back and again as Jacquez turned. He died at the scene. Morris has since been put on “routine paid administrative leave,” per the release.
Initial reports from San Jose police indicated that Jacquez was shot reaching for his waistband, but they have since retracted that detail.
Asst. Chief Eddie Garcia defended the shooting under the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that permits officers to use deadly force when necessary to prevent the escape of a suspect believed to pose a significant threat to the officer or others.
LaDoris Cordell, the city’s recently retired Independent Police Auditor, filed a complaint on Wednesday against the San Jose Police Department. She argued that shooting raised “red flags” and would erode trust in the SJPD, especially within communities of color.
The Mercury News echoed this opinion yesterday in an op-ed.
“In an age of video surveillance everywhere, whether from cellphones or security cameras, officers have to know the peril of making stuff up,” the piece stated. “Still, there will be lingering suspicion of an attempted cover-up that the department realized it couldn't sustain. It doesn't help that police have not sustained a complaint of misconduct fueled against them for years.”
This eighth officer-involved shooting is the most for SJPD since 2011.