NAPA, Calif. (AP) — A California sheriff's sergeant shot and killed a motorist during a traffic stop after the man walked toward the officer and ignored repeated instructions to stop and show his hands, authorities said Wednesday.
The Napa County Sheriff's Office released body-worn camera footage of the Oct. 5 encounter that shows the motorist, Juan Adrian Garcia, advancing with his right arm behind his back for nearly a minute as Sgt. David Ackman backs up several times while ordering the man to stop.
“As Mr. Garcia’s pace increased, perceiving a deadly threat, Sergeant Ackman fired six shots at Mr. Garcia. All six shots struck him,” Sheriff John Robertson said during a news conference.
Ackman believed Garcia could have had a gun, Robertson said, but no weapon was found.
Garcia, 47, died at a hospital. Medical records show his blood alcohol level was .338%, more than four times the legal limit, the sheriff's office said.
Garcia, a Mexican national, was pulled over around 10 p.m. because the sergeant noticed he was driving without headlights, Robertson said. Garcia understood English, including the commands that were given to him by the sergeant, officials said.
Garcia's family is represented by a lawyer, said sheriff's Captain Cullen Dodd. The lawyer's name was not immediately released.
Ackman, a 21-year veteran of the sheriff's office, repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation, according to his training, Dodd said. The sergeant drew his weapon when Garcia exited the car but holstered it when it appeared that the suspect would submit to arrest, Dodd said. Ackman pulled the gun again when Garcia advanced on him with his hand behind his back and ignored orders to comply, Dodd said.
As part of protocol, Ackman has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, the sheriff's office said.