San Jose police shot and wounded a man who allegedly tried to break into a cop car and pilfer a racked shotgun last week.
Officers used a Taser, pepper spray, a projectile round and a bullet to subdue Ronald William Woods, according to the San Jose Police Department. The 50-year-old man is in stable condition after being treated at a local hospital.
The incident marked San Jose’s ninth officer-involved shooting, five of which have been fatal.
Police were dispatched to check on Woods, who was allegedly threatening to kill himself, just after 6:30pm last Thursday at Monterey Oaks mobile home park in south San Jose.
After tracking him down just north of Southlake Drive, police said he walked up to the front passenger side door of the patrol car and announced that he wanted Officer Daniel Morales’ gun.
As Morales got out of the car, Woods allegedly reached into the cruiser through an open window and began ransacking a bag on the front passenger seat. The policeman ordered him to stop, but said Woods failed to comply.
Morales then used his stun gun, which reportedly had little effect on Woods. Woods walked toward Morales, who used his pepper spray while backtracking. Still, Woods ignored the cop’s commands, authorities said.
Unfazed, Woods allegedly walked to the driver’s side door and tried to un-rack a shotgun inside the car.
“Woods reached into the police vehicle, grabbed the shotgun and attempted to remove it from the shotgun rack,” police said in a statement. “Officer Morales gave the suspect commands to exit the vehicle and get on the ground, but he continued to pull on the shotgun.”
Morales, who said he thought Woods managed to take hold of the gun, fired his duty weapon and struck the man at least once.
Police said the bullet knocked Woods to the ground, but he kept resisting even as other officers arrived to subdue him. Another officer fired a projectile round from a launcher at Woods, who finally settled down enough for police to arrest him.
Paramedics treated Woods’ single gunshot wound on scene before transporting him to a hospital.
Authorities booked Woods into a Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of attempting to take a firearm from an officer and attempted grand theft of a firearm.
Officer Morales, who has been on the force for two years, was placed on paid leave, per department policy.
The SJPD homicide unit has asked anyone with information about the case to contact Sgt. Raul Martinez or detective Jorge Santiago at 408.277.5283. People who want to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 408.947.7868.
The District Attorney’s Office and SJPD’s Internal Affairs Unit are also investigating the incident.
SJPD launched an online FAQ page to answer the public's questions about use of force after a spate of officer-involved shootings this summer.
“We believe it is important for the community to understand the investigative process, monitoring and incident review process,” the department said in a statement announcing the new web page in August.
The site points to the agency's protocol for officer-involved shooting investigations, its use-of-force guidelines and describes how police review each incident. It also addresses why an officer would shoot a person and how the DA steps in after it happens.