A naked man shot by three cops after leading a four-mile car chase and pointing a caulking gun at officers Friday remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to the San Jose Police Department.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia on Monday defended the shooting and identified the officers who fired upon 53-year-old John Bradley Bowles: Todd Ahyo, William Wolfe and Erick Enderle. Each officer has more than two decades of experience, Garcia said.
Bowles, described by police as “mentally unstable,” led police on a meandering chase Friday that ended in gunfire. It started with a phone call around 1:30pm that day with someone reporting a naked man harassing residents around Eva Court and Valerie Drive, police said.
When officers arrived, Bowles hopped into a blue Dodge Ram pickup, reversed out of Eva Court and slammed into a patrol car and a parked car. He then led about 10 cop cars on a four-mile pursuit, police said, hitting several vehicles along the way.
After speeding west down Stevens Creek Boulevard, Bowles pulled into Villa Shopping Center and came to a stop, authorities said. He then crashed into a police SUV.
An officer shot at Bowles, who revved his pickup and pointed what police later learned was a caulking gun at the officers. Other cops fired at him, reportedly a dozen times, and later cited fears that Bowles might harm people in the shopping center.
Footage from police body cameras is being reviewed as part of the investigation, a routine review involving the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the city’s Independent Police Auditor, the city attorney and the SJPD Internal Affairs Unit.
The three officers who fired their service weapons are on paid leave. No officers were hurt during the incident, which marked the first police shooting in San Jose this year.
Another officer-involved shooting involving a mentally ill man took place earlier this month in nearby Santa Clara, where police shot and killed 24-year-old Jesús Alberto Geney Montes.
Santa Clara police say Montes refused to show his hands and walked toward police during a March 9 confrontation. But, according to the Mercury News, the man’s family disputes the official account. Below is a video of a vigil held last week in Montes’ honor.