OAKLAND (BCN) – The names of the officers who shot and killed a young father last year in Oakland have been released in court documents.
California Highway Patrol Officers Richard Henderson, Eric Hulbert and Donald Saputa opened fire on Erik Salgado on the night of June 6, 2020, killing him and wounding his pregnant girlfriend, court documents say.
A civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit is pending against the officers for their roles in Salgado’s death.
The officers allegedly fired at least 40 shots at a red Dodge Challenger that Salgado and his 23-year-old girlfriend were in.
Salgado, 23, was hit at least 18 times and died at the scene, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by the law offices of civil rights attorney John Burris.
The suit says that Salgado and his girlfriend were in the Dodge on Cherry Street in Oakland, near the home of Salgado’s mother.
CHP officers in several unmarked vehicles were pursuing Salgado to stop the Dodge, which had a lost or stolen license plate on it, according to the complaint in the suit.
Neither Salgado nor his girlfriend were armed, and the officers in pursuit of the Dodge had no basis to suggest that either Salgado or his girlfriend were armed, the complaint says.
Also, Henderson, Saputa and Hulbert had no information that the Dodge had been forcefully taken, that Salgado had been involved in a robbery or how Salgado came to possess the Dodge, according to the complaint.
As Salgado was driving on Cherry Street, unmarked CHP vehicles stopped in front and behind him, the complaint says.
Salgado apparently tried to get past a CHP K-9 vehicle in front of him and bumped into it, then backed up and bumped into the CHP vehicle behind him, the complaint says.
CHP Officer Michael Diehl got out of an unmarked CHP truck and ran toward the CHP K-9 vehicle, which he was behind, the complaint says. Salgado allegedly then tried again to squeeze past the K-9 vehicle and also tried to get past Diehl’s truck.
Salgado could have put Diehl at risk of being hit when he tried to drive past the vehicles, but he took a different route, the complaint says.
Either way, Diehl scrambled out of the way. Shortly thereafter, Henderson opened fire on Salgado with a rifle from behind, the complaint says.
No one at this point was allegedly in danger of being hit by the Dodge. Henderson alleged that he saw the Dodge run over Diehl and Henderson emptied his rifle, according to the complaint, firing 30 shots.
Saputa also fired at Salgado with a rifle, the complaint says. Hulbert too alleged that Diehl had been run over by Salgado and he fired 16 rounds at the young man when no one was allegedly in danger of being hit by the Dodge, the complaint says.
Burris’s office alleges that Henderson, Hulbert and Saputa have been trained to avoid firing at a moving vehicle when the danger posed by it can be eliminated by an officer changing their location.
The complaint also alleges that the three officers who fired on Salgado did not warn him that they were going to shoot as officers are trained to do.
Salgado’s girlfriend was shot three times, including in the abdomen, according to the complaint.
The CHP will not comment on the shooting because of pending litigation. Attempts were unsuccessful at reaching Henderson, Hulbert and Saputa.