NAPA (CBS SF) — Police in Napa on Monday released new body-camera video showing a deadly confrontation last week after a suspect grabbed an officer’s gun and pulled the trigger several times.
That suspect was then shot and killed by the officer.
The incident happened shortly before 2 a.m. last Wednesday at a Napa apartment complex off Soscol Avenue.
Napa police were called to the scene after a report was an assault on a woman and a man armed with a gun.
Officer Christopher Simas was first to confront the suspect, 27-year-old David Molina.
In the video, Simas can be heard ordering the suspect repeatedly to put his hands up, but Molina instead fled the scene.
The Napa Police Chief Robert Plummer on Monday offered a detailed description of what happened next, showing maps of the confrontation location. The suspect led the officer on a foot chase across a dog park and into a ravine.
Officer Simas continued following Molina in the darkness and eventually found him hiding in the bushes.
He is able to get one handcuff on the suspect, but then there is a struggle.
The chief said Molina was able to reach around and pull the trigger on the officer’s rifle, but it misfires.
You can hear the two men continue to wrestle for control of the weapon, then more shots.
Molina is heard in the video shouting, “Shots fired! Subject down!” after the struggle.
As to whether Molina was armed, Plummer confirmed a weapon was found nearby.
“The handgun was located about 75 feet from where the officer-involved shooting occurred,” Plummer said.
Molina was hit four times and died at the scene.
The chief said they believe the gun found in the bushes fell from Molina’s waistband.
The person who originally called police told officers that Molina threatened them with a gun. The chief said investigators also found two more guns in a search of Molina’s home.
Officer Simas suffered some minor injuries and is on administrative leave during the investigation.
By coincidence, the Napa Police Department had only recently received the new body cameras. They have only been in use in the field for 30 days.