San Jose, CA – A gunman stormed out of his house, threw open the door of an unmarked patrol car and pointed a handgun at an undercover San Jose police officer before being fatally shot on Monday, security footage showed (video below).
Two undercover San Jose officers were conducting surveillance on 31-year-old Demetrius Stanley when the confrontation occurred, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said during a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Stanley had allegedly previously confessed to having committed an armed robbery and an assault with a deadly weapon on March 12, Chief Mata said.
He had been arrested for that incident, but was out on bail at the time of the officer-involved shooting, Chief Mata said.
The undercover officers were continuing to work additional aspects of the case and were posted up outside a San Jose home on May 31 in an attempt to verify whether or not it was Stanley’s residence, KCRA reported.
Chief Mata said there was a warrant out for Stanley’s arrest that night, but that the officers had no intention of arresting or making contact with him.
He said the suspect’s actions left the officer with no choice but to defend himself.
“Officers did not want, or anticipate, a confrontation that night, and did everything possible to avoid having one,” the chief told reporters. “Unfortunately, the officers have no control over the actions of others.”
8/ Images from last nights Officer involved shooting. pic.twitter.com/9TG5Z6QgxK
— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) June 2, 2021
One of the plainclothes officers was outside the unmarked police vehicle on foot when the incident occurred, and the other was sitting inside the vehicle, Chief Mata said.
Security footage showed Stanley heading out of the house shirtless and barefoot.
He started walking towards the officer who was on foot, racking a gun with an extended magazine in the process, Chief Mata said.
Investigators later determined the weapon was an unregistered 9mm “ghost gun” equipped with an extended magazine which is illegal in the state, he continued.
The weapon was loaded with a round in the chamber and many more in the magazine, according to the chief.
The officer saw Stanley heading his way and took off sprinting down the street and out of sight, at which point Stanley started walking towards the unmarked police car, the video showed.
He began passing by the vehicle, then pivoted and headed over to the driver’s door.
The suspect yanked the door open while pointing his gun directly at the plainclothes officer sitting inside.
“Fearing for his life, the officer fired his weapon at Stanley,” Chief Mata said.
Stanley was fatally wounded during the officer-involved shooting.
“Any loss of life is tragic, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Stanley family and our community during this time,” Chief Mata said during the press conference. “This is a traumatic incident for the family of Demetrius Stanley, for all the involved officers, and for our community.”
The officers involved in the confrontation were not wearing bodycams “due to the non-enforcement nature of their assignment” that night, he explained.
The officer who shot Stanley is a 14-year veteran of the department.
He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as per protocol.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will determine whether or not the officer-involved shooting was justified.
Chief Mata said the prior attack involving Stanley on March 12 stemmed from a “road rage incident” that was also captured on video.
Stanley was carrying a handgun equipped with a laser sight when he confronted the juvenile driver of vehicle during that encounter, Chief Mata said.
“Stanley pointed the handgun at the juvenile victim who had his hands held up over his head,” he continued. “Video evidence shows that the red dot from the laser sight was on the juvenile victim’s head.”
The suspect allegedly ended up rummaging through the victim’s vehicle and stealing a replica handgun from him, Chief Mata told reporters.
A warrant for armed robbery was ultimately issued, as well as an order to stop and seize the vehicle Stanley had been using during the incident, he said.
Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies located the suspect’s vehicle on March 26 and took Stanley into custody.
His vehicle was also impounded.
During an interview with San Jose police, “Stanley admitted to the armed robbery,” Chief Mata said.
“He also told detectives that during the robbery, he had been armed with a replica firearm,” the chief added. “The replica firearm he described did not match the description of the gun he used during the incident.”
Stanley was already prohibited from possessing firearms due to a prior domestic violence offense, Chief Mata noted.
He bailed out of jail the same day he was arrested.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the vehicle they seized from Stanley and located a black mask and a Springfield 9mm pistol with a red laser attachment inside the car, Chief Mata said.
The weapon matched the description of the one used in the armed robbery, the chief told reporters.
A new warrant for charges of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person was subsequently issued for Stanley’s arrest, leading to the undercover officers’ surveillance.
Protesters and activist groups have staged demonstrations in the wake of the fatal officer-involved shooting, claiming Stanley was a victim of police violence, KCRA reported.
“They’re going to try and say that it was as simple as he pointed guns at police officers, but that’s not what happened,” BLACK Outreach San Jose President Lou Dimes told KCRA. “He was being stalked by people in plain clothing who didn’t identify themselves as police officers. He thought he was in danger.”
Family members insisted Stanley was trying to protect the family members he had inside his home, KPIX reported.
Demonstrators blocked off a section of Highway 87 on Tuesday night before marching to police headquarters.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
UPDATE: @SanJosePD releases surveillance video showing armed-robbery suspect Demetrius Stanley pointing 9mm handgun at undercover officer, a 14yr veteran who opened fire & killed him, per @SJPDChief_Mata. @SantaClaraDA @SanJoseIPA investigating pic.twitter.com/qTje2oXOt1
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) June 2, 2021