SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose’s chief of police is defending the officer-involved shooting that killed robbery suspect Jacob Dominguez during a Friday night traffic stop.
Police say 33-year-old Dominguez — a husband and father of three — was also a gang member who went on a violent nine-day crime spree that ended with his being shot and killed by an officer trying to arrest him.
San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia said, “At some point, we needed to make sure that this crime spree ended. And unfortunately, it ended with a tragic consequence.”
Garcia laid out a list of crimes he said Dominguez committed since September 6, including vehicle theft, a drive-by shooting, two car chases and an armed robbery of a gas station.
Each time, police say, Dominguez slipped away.
Police say a violent crimes enforcement team working undercover spotted Dominguez again, and made a vehicle stop at Penitencia Creek Road and White Road.
Police say Dominguez complied with officers’ commands at first, but then lowered his hands out of sight.
“The officer felt Dominguez was reaching for a weapon and discharged his weapon at Dominguez, striking him at least one time,” Chief Garcia said. ” Suspect Dominguez was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
The officer was 11-year veteran Officer Mike Pina.
Garcia said Dominguez was known to have carried a .357 revolver, but on Friday night he was unarmed.
Following the fatal shooting, police found a knife, some drugs and other miscellaneous items, but “no gun was located in the vehicle,” Chief Garcia said.
Members of Dominguez’ family stood to the side of the police press conference, listening and wiping away tears.
Family members said he had entered a Christian men’s home and was trying to overcome a drug addiction.
A woman who said she was Dominguez’ aunt disagreed with police.
“I have nothing to say,” she said. “I’m disgusted. But I have nothing to say.”
The chief says officers were wearing body cameras. Footage is being reviewed, but there are no immediate plans to release the video.
It was the eighth officer involved shooting in San Jose, so far this year.