Sacramento, CA – Bodycam footage captured the moment when an allegedly drunken man waving a gun at a crowded boxing match was fatally shot by a Sacramento police sergeant (video below).
The incident began at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2020, when the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) received a report of reckless driving in the 1600-block of Juliesse Avenue, the department said in a press release.
Officers responded to the scene and discovered that a large boxing event was being held in a warehouse at that location.
The officers left the area, and an SPD patrol sergeant stayed behind to complete some administrative tasks unrelated to the traffic complaint or the boxing event, according to the department.
But chaos erupted at about 8 p.m., when the sergeant spotted a swarm of people running out of the warehouse.
The sergeant jumped out of his patrol car and asked members of the crowd what was going on, but most just ran past him, bodycam footage showed.
“Whatever’s going on, nobody’s telling me,” he commented at one point, just before a male ran through the crowd towards him.
“Hey, there’s somebody in there with a gun!” the man told the sergeant.
The witness described the gunman as a “Mexican guy,” the video showed.
“Go in there! Go in there!” someone urged the sergeant, who was already making his way towards the warehouse while gathering bits of information from people he came across along the way.
“He’s waving a f–king gun around!” one witness yelled, just before a volley of shots rang out.
The sergeant drew his duty weapon and ran towards the gunfire, the video showed.
A second later, he “confronted an armed suspect who was pointing a firearm at the crowd inside of the warehouse,” the SPD said. “The sergeant discharged his firearm, striking the suspect.”
Police later identified the gunman as 38-year-old Augustine Morales.
Investigators obtained surveillance footage from outside the warehouse, which showed Morales “acting erratically and recklessly waving a firearm in the direction of the crowd” prior to the shooting, according to the SPD.
According to event organizers, the suspect had just been asked to leave the warehouse prior to the shooting because he was highly intoxicated, KXTV reported.
The warehouse footage showed Morales heading towards the open doors of the building “and aiming his gun at the crowd while an unknown subject inside of the building fired a weapon in his direction,” the department said.
Morales was confronted by the police sergeant outside immediately afterwards, according to police.
The SPD said a second person suffered non-life threatening wounds during the incident, but said that person had not been shot by the sergeant.
The gunman who shot that individual has not been identified, according to the SPD.
Officers rendered aid to Morales until emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene.
The suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators recovered his firearm and partially-loaded magazine at the scene, the department said in the press release.
It is unclear whether or not Morales fired any rounds during the incident.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn praised the sergeant for jumping into action as the chaotic scene unfolded.
“The department is grateful that our sergeant was on scene when the shots were fired,” Chief Hahn said in the press release. “He ran towards these shots and likely saved numerous lives by confronting an armed suspect.”
But Morales’ family said he did nothing wrong and that someone else was responsible for the initial shooting, KXTV reported.
“They got the wrong man,” his sister, Marysa Morales, told the news outlet. “There’s somebody still out there on the loose that actually shot.”
Marysa said the family is struggling, KCRA reported.
“It’s a very difficult time for our family,” she said. “We are torn because we are hurt from those who are supposed to protect and serve us.”
Morales’ mother, Roxanne Morales, said she is convinced her son was just trying to protect others at the “Gunz Down, Gloves Up” boxing event.
“He would definitely be a protector…That’s is natural instinct,” Roxanne told KXTV. “He was the Santa Claus of the ‘hood.”
“I don’t want another mother, or another family, to have to go through this,” she said through tears, according to KCRA. “This should not happen.”
Roxanne said the entire situation should have been handled differently.
“It could have been a total different outcome,” she declared. “We need change in California, across the board with our law enforcement. We need accountability, and they need to take responsibility when they take a life.”
“None of us can just walk up to somebody behind them and shoot them in the back and it be okay,” she added.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: